Created By: tryourbreastOctober 18, 2012 Last Edited By: spacemarine50October 4, 2013
Troped

Arbitrary Minimum Range (crowner up)

You just can't fire some weapons to targets at point blank.

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Trope
Yes, we all know that all weapons can't fire to a distance of infinity, and have a maximum range. But there is also an opposite.

Besides a maximum range, some weapons, especially for the siege weapons, has a minimum range, which it is a lot less effective or unable to fire at targets at all before this distance. The common behaviour of these weapons are, when an enemy get close enough, they'll move back so that they can still engage the enemy.

Of course, considering that they're so effective at long ranges, so supposedly they should be even more powerful for targets so close. But the reason for this is usually not about the firepower, which the maximum range suffers from - for a target too close, it's very hard to track the target, and most weapon has a limited tracking speed (except point-defence weapons, which are explicitly designed to have very high tracking speed). Also, by firing at a target too close you put yourself at risk from ricochets (Yes, it's a Truth In Television — bullets can bounce off belt buckles and other metal worn objects), or explosions if you happen to use HE or splash rounds. Lastly, moving while firing lowers the accuracy, which if your weapon needs long cooldown between firings, you will become defenseless after on.

Some weapons have Splash Damage that you must avoid having your own men hit it (unless you don't care). Being Friendly Fireproof, in cover, or being armored enough to withstand your own weapon eliminates that problem.

In gaming, this is done mainly of two reason - first, having such powerful weapon without a minimum range can be Game Breaking, since it would have little weakness. Also, it'll allow them to target only for things far enough, so they won't get stuck by keep tracking an enemy very close, and cease to function properly.

Subtrope of Artistic License Physics. Contrast Arbitrary Maximum Range, No Range Like Point Blank Range and Short Range Long Range Weapon. Inversion of Splash Damage Abuse, see above why. A reason why AA guns can't hit anything. Stray Shots Strike Nothing is a Sister Trope. Insert Grenade Here exploits this trope.

Examples

Literature
  • In The Hunt For Red October Russian torpedoes have a safety feature that will only arm the torpedo when it is a safe distance away from the ship that fired it. Captain Ramius knows this so he steers his submarine toward an incoming torpedo so the torpedo does not have time to arm itself and bounces harmlessly off the sub's hull. The pursuing sub then deactivates the safety feature for its next shot so the torpedo no longer has a minimum range.
  • The soft sci-fi story Through Space To The Planets has an example of a "ray" gun which also has a gas-like effect, meaning that it cannot be used at close quarters for fear of harming the operator and any other nearby "friendlies".
  • At one point in Honor Harrington, some Marines need to use an antitank launcher to blow open a blast door, but can't use the best munition for the job because the range is shorter than said munition's minimum safe distance.

Video Games
  • In Command And Conquer Red Alert 3, all tier 3 siege weapons has a minimum range, for all 3 factions. However, you can use a wave-force artillery to force-attack a point, and causes damage to the line of shooting when it fires, including your troops.
    • And surprisingly, the Brighton coastal guns and wave-force tricannons does not suffer from this limit.
  • Siege weapons in Warcraft all have minimum range, being completely defenseless against melee units.
    • Also, siege tanks from Star Craft and Star Craft II.
    • Similarly, all manner of ranged attacks in World Of Warcraft, be they bows, guns, or magic fireballs, have a minimum range. If the enemy gets too close, you're forced into melee combat.
  • Plants Vs Zombies has the Scaredy-Shroom, which can fire at pretty far compared to the normal mushrooms, but if a zombie gets too close, it'll hide into the ground and become useless as a weapon.
  • Some vehicles such as Scarabs in Halo Wars are unable to attack extremely close range opponents. Likewise in the main FPS games, tanks without a side gunner are unable to shoot an opponent boarding them without hurting themselves.
  • Ever Quest and Ever Quest II both have a minimum range (usually 10 meters, just outside of melee combat for most monsters) required before anyone can use a ranged weapon such as a bow or throwing knives and shurikens.
  • In Pokemon Conquest moves do not have a minimum range per se but merely differing areas of effect. Nonetheless, moves which can only hit two or three tiles away do mean the user cannot defend against an enemy engaging them at point blank, and must take a step back first.
  • Fire Emblem - the Ballistas work this way, but also regular bow and arrows act like this also. If you surround an archer with four units, they can't move and can't attack.
    • In Radiant Dawn archers can overcome this limitation by using Crossbows as opposed to bow and arrows.
  • Some spellcards in Touhou have bullets generated around the boss, but the bullets doesn't have the hitspot immediately. Because of this, a player can get very close to the boss before the bullets are fired, and hence without taking any damage. This video provides examples, like 1:02, 8:46 and 9:52.
  • Dune II. Missile tanks could not hit a target 2 hexes or less away. If they tried, the missiles went wild and hit random locations other than the target hex.
  • M1 Tank Platoon. Infantry units automatically fired antitank weapons at any enemy vehicles within range, but they couldn't hit them if they were too close.
  • Many long-range weapons in Battletech have minimum ranges, making it harder to hit within that minimum range.
  • Most ranged siege weapons in the Age Of Empires series, and towers before "siege holes" is researched.
  • In Alien Shooter, Grenade Launcher, Freeze Ray and flamethrowers have a minimum range, and the grenades always detonate at a certain distance.
  • In Highborn, Teslas and Cannons have a minimum range of two squares away, unlike most characters/machines, which can attack from one square away.
  • In the Call Of Duty games, players can use grenade launchers. In most cases, the grenades have to travel a minimum distance before they'll explode, meaning that if someone is too close to you, the grenade will simply bounce harmlessly off the ground or wall next to them. Fortunately, you can usually get a kill with a direct impact.
  • Knights And Merchants had this with archers and crossbowmen. If you came near enough to a ranged unit and no other units were in range to shoot at, it would stop shooting. Watch towers were exempt from this, though.
  • Subverted in Dragon Age Origins: you cannot fire ranged weapons at point blank range... unless you take a certain mid-level perk that allows you just that.
  • In Heroes Of Might And Magic, ranged units are limited to melee attacks if there's an enemy unit adjacent to them- not only can they not use their main weapon against the adjacent enemy, they can't fire at anyone else either.
  • Advance Wars: Artillery has a one-square zone in which it is unable to fire. Rocket trucks' are two squares (as they have longer range).
  • The Nintendo Wars series takes the minimum range and maximum range tropes and sticks to them.
  • Averted in Tactics Ogre, as an archer could fire a bow at point blank. Given that for some quirk in the code it can't be countered it is a way to help the player since the game is nintendo hard.
  • Played straight as hell in Final Fantasy Tactics with minimum and maximum range. Despite the game having the chances to use a better projectile module
  • Some weapons in the Super Robot Taisen series cannot be used at point blank range. Ironically, this includes the shotgun in most games, which cannot be used against an adjacent enemy.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons And Dragons
    • In the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide section on siege weapons, catapults (light and heavy) and trebuchets all had minimum ranges that they could fire at.
    • In Dungeons And Dragons' later editions, firing a bow provokes an attack of opportunity. Because giving your opponents free shots is bad, this means that minimum range is outside of your opponents reach.
  • In earlier editions of Warhammer40000 barrage weapons had a minimum range. In the 6th edition they still have a minimum range for indirect fire, but can still fire at targets closer than that if they have line of sight to them. However since te rules forbid you from intentionally placing blast markers on your own units (barring a few specific exceptions), blast weapons (which include all barrage weapons) still have a minimum range in some cases; if the entire enemy unit can get so close that you can't place a blast marker on them without hitting the firing unit as well, you can't fire it.
    • In Warhammer40000, the Deathstrike Missile has a minimum range of 12 inches on the tabletop, equivalent to 60 feet in real life.
    • The Basilisks despite being a cannon with plating has to be using the secondary weapons if the weapon gets close despite the fact that the enemy warlord can be in front of the cannon.
    • Also in Warhammer 40K: The Tau are very poor at close ranged combat (because their reflexes are much slower than humans). As a result, most of their weapons have a great deal of trouble locking onto targets at close range.
  • Shadowrun. Some grenade launchers made their grenades not detonate until they had gone a minimum distance after firing. This was done to prevent the user being blown up by their own grenade, but also prevented use of the weapon at close range.
  • In Big Eyes Small Mouth, one of the custom variables for the Weapon attribute (which covers all types of attack abilities) is Indirect, which lets the attack strike through a ballistic arc. However, rank 1 of the variable restricts the attack from targeting less than half of its maximum range (determined by the Range variable); rank 2 reduces this to ten percent; rank 3 is the maximum and removes the restriction. Splash Damage is handled by the Area variable instead, so there may not be any practical reason for an attack to have a minimum range.
  • In Slender The Arrival, you can't stun the Proxy with the flashlight's high-beam when it's too close.
  • Classic Traveller Book 4 Mercenary. Several new weapons could not be used at Close or Short range (from 0 to 5 meters away), such as the various PGMP's and FGMP's. There was no reason given for this.
  • Rogue Trader (the RPG) has minimum range for Nova Cannons, as they cannot safely be used too close to the ship, having splash damage and a chanse to explode closer to the firer than intented (technically they can still hit the firer if you fire at the absolute minimum range and roll very badly). They may have had the same rules in Battlefleet Gothic, as RT space combat rules are heavily based on it.

Web Original
Roger: "You just wasted one guy with a three hundred dollar bullet!'

Real Life
  • When a weapon (or the person firing it) is located on an elevated position, it can be difficult or impossible to fire at enemies directly below that position, or within a certain distance. For this reason, fortified locations have towers that can cover one another's bases (along with the length of the wall between them), so enemies can't Zerg Rush within the minimum range and then sap the walls at their leisure.
  • The Davy Crockett nuclear rifle failed because it cannot travel far enough for the nuke to not affect the shooter.
  • Lampshaded by Eddie Izzard, who points out that if someone's tracking you with a bazooka, you should run toward them, not away.
  • All tanks have one. A soldier can get too close to be aimed at by the main gun and it can only point at 1 direction at a time. But the machine guns meant to deal with this also have a minimum range: within about fifteen feet you were perfectly safe from their machine guns: they simply could not depress far enough to hit a man standing so close. But tanks are not usually alone, so another vehicle can kill the annoying soldier.
    • The Germans produced a number of training films that mostly consisted of ways individual soldiers could jump up on a tank and disable it with whatever materials and weapons they had at hand, including hand grenades.
    • The machine gun one also applies to nearly every vehicle that has them.
    • The Germans also addressed this problem in their own tanks by installing the famous gun that could shoot round corners, the one with the 90 degree bend in the barrel. Installed pointing upwards through the turret roof , it could be traversed through 360 degrees to scythe down any Russians climbing onto the back or angled to fire down into what any approaching enemy might have mistaken for a "dead area" where the conventional MG's could not reach.
    • Don't forget it's bad if a tank runs you down.
  • Grenade launchers and similar weapons can be fired at any range, but the projectile won't arm itself until it has travelled a certain distance, about 5 metres for 40mm grenades.
  • Mortars have one. At around 90 degrees, it will fall back down on the guys that fired it, assuming the wind doesn't blow it away. Oh, there's still the Splash Damage.
  • Non-military: Golf. Try to hit <50 yards with a driver at a target. You can't. Sure you can hit 300+ yards wiht the driver, but you cannot hit a small target ~150 yards away with it accurately. Or putt with it. An interesting Self Imposed Challenge, but you need other clubs to be any good.
  • In Real Life this was one of the reasons "gyrojet" guns (basically weapons that fired self propelled mini-rockets instead of solid bullets) never caught on. Their ammunition took a while to accelerate, meaning they had less momentum at close range. By comparison, normal bullets had their maximum momentum the moment they left the barrel.
    • Apparently you could actually defeat one by sticking your finger in the barrel.
  • During the Battle off Samar the USS Samuel B. Roberts got so close to the Imperial cruiser Chokai that the Chokai couldn't aim its guns low enough to hit the Roberts.
  • In the Falklands War a number of British Type 42 destroyers got hit by not only guided anti-ship missiles but also Argentine aircraft lobbing unguided munitions at them. The early iterations of the class were fitted with GWS30 Sea Dart surface-to-air missile system for anti-air defense; problem was, if aircraft or missiles managed to close to within a certain range, software issues with the SAM system caused them to be unable to properly track and fire at targets because they were too close. This limitation was the reason why the class was latter fitted with two Mk.15 Phalanx CIWS.
  • Pole arms (like spears and pikes) require you to be so far away from an enemy to actually hit them. If they are too close, you can't stab them with the end and won't be able to build enough momentum to hurt them by swinging the weapon.
  • This trope is why nukes bigger than the Tsara Bomba didn't exist. The bomber that drops it cannot get out of danger before the nuke detonates. By then, ICB Ms were doing the same job.
    • Even the smaller nukes the bombers are forced to maneuver to not get hit by the nuke it just dropped. Again, missiles don't have this problem.

Community Feedback Replies: 102
  • October 18, 2012
    Chabal2
    Siege weapons in Warcraft all have minimum range, being completely defenseless against melee units.
  • October 18, 2012
    MrRuano
    Plants Versus Zombies has the Scaredy-Shroom, which can fire at pretty far compared to the normal mushrooms, but if a zombie gets too close, it'll hide into the ground and become useless as a weapon.
  • October 18, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • Some vehicles such as Scarabs in Halo Wars are unable to attack extremely close range opponents. Likewise in the main FPS games, tanks without a side gunner are unable to shoot an opponent boarding them without hurting themselves.
  • October 18, 2012
    DRCEQ
    • Ever Quest and Ever Quest II both have a minimum range (usually 10 meters, just outside of melee combat for most monsters) required before anyone can use a ranged weapon such as a bow or throwing knives and shurikens.
  • October 18, 2012
    surgoshan
    Real Life

    • When a weapon (or the person firing it) is located on an elevated position, it can be difficult or impossible to fire at enemies directly below that position, or within a certain distance. For this reason, fortified locations have towers that can cover one another's bases (along with the length of the wall between them), so enemies can't rush within the minimum range and then sap the walls at their leisure.
  • October 18, 2012
    dvorak
    Siege tanks from Star Craft and Star Craft II
  • October 18, 2012
    Stratadrake
    • In Pokemon Conquest moves do not have a minimum range per se but merely differing areas of effect. Nonetheless, moves which can only hit two or three tiles away do mean the user cannot defend against an enemy engaging them at point blank, and must take a step back first.
  • October 19, 2012
    acrobox
    • Fire Emblem - the Ballistas work this way, but also regular bow and arrows act like this also. If you surround an archer with four units, they can't move and can't attack.
      • In Radiant Dawn archers can overcome this limitation by using Crossbows as opposed to bow and arrows.
  • October 19, 2012
    Arivne
    This was on YKTTW a while ago.

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons. In the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide section on siege weapons, catapults (light and heavy) and trebuchets all had minimum ranges that they could fire at.

    Video Games
    • Dune II. Missile tanks could not hit a target 2 hexes or less away. If they tried, the missiles went wild and hit random locations other than the target hex.
    • M1 Tank Platoon. Infantry units automatically fired antitank weapons at any enemy vehicles within range, but they couldn't hit them if they were too close.

    For more examples, do a Google search on TV Tropes for the phrase "minimum range".
  • October 19, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • Most ranged siege weapons in the Age Of Empires series, and towers before "siege holes" is researched.
  • October 19, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ Oh, could you get that entry? There should be some examples there.
  • October 20, 2012
    DracMonster
    Incidentally, there's a bit of Truth In Television here. Not that you can't, but firing at a target point blank can put you at risk from ricochets. (Yes, even at a person -- bullets can bounce off belt buckles and other metal worn objects.)
  • October 20, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Should be added: Another reason is that if the weapon has explosives, it needs to get far enough for it's splash damage to not hit the shooter. The Davy Crockett nuclear rifle failed because it cannot travel far enough for the nuke to not affect the shooter.
    • Also, should the shooter be allowed to try to flee from the effects of the explosive?
  • October 20, 2012
    elwoz
    You have some grammar issues, would you like help?
  • October 21, 2012
    Generality
    Is it really arbitrary? The description explains that there is some justification in the trope.

    • Lampshaded by Eddie Izzard, who points out that if someone's tracking you with a bazooka, you should run toward them, not away.
  • October 21, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In Highborn, Teslas and Cannons have a minimum range of two squares away, unlike most characters/machines, which can attack from one square away.
  • October 21, 2012
    AgProv
    Real life: Germany taught its infantry to get in really close to Russian tanks when delivering landmines or explosive charges, as within about fifteen feet you were perfectly safe from their machine guns: they simply could not depress far enough to hit a man standing so close. Similarly, if you leap onto the engine deck or the top of the turret you were also safe. The Germans addressed this problem in their own tanks by installing the famous gun that could shoot round corners, the one with the 90 degree bend in the barrel. Installed pointing upwards through the turret roof , it could be traversed through 360 degrees to scythe down any Russians climbing onto the back or angled to fire down into what any approaching enemy might have mistaken for a "dead area" where the conventional MG's could not reach.
  • October 21, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^^It's the direct opposite to Arbitrary Maximum Range, so I don't suggest changing the title into something else.
  • October 22, 2012
    elwoz
    ^ Arbitrary Maximum Range is explicitly about when there isn't any excuse for the limit. Thus, this should be similar; maybe talk a bit in the description about the real-world circumstances where a weapon has a minimum effective or minimum safe range, but that's it.
  • October 22, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Some more real life:
    • Mortars have one. At 90 degrees, it will fall back down on the guys that fired it, assuming the wind doesn't blow it away. And after you get away from the Splash Damage.
    • Non-military: Golf. Try to hit <50 yards with a driver. You can't. That's why they got irons, wedges, and putters.
  • October 22, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ In most of the time this minimum range limit is not explained, either. And besides, I can't think of a better title...
  • October 23, 2012
    Shnakepup
    • In the Call Of Duty games, players can use grenade launchers. In most cases, the grenades have to travel a minimum distance before they'll explode, meaning that if someone is too close to you, the grenade will simply bounce harmlessly off the ground or wall next to them. Fortunately, you can usually get a kill with a direct impact.
  • October 23, 2012
    rolranx
    I like the title as it is. The range is often arbitrary and besides which it makes a nice snowclone.
  • October 23, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Shadowrun. Some grenade launchers made their grenades not detonate until they had gone a minimum distance after firing. This was done to prevent the user being blown up by their own grenade, but also prevented use of the weapon at close range.
  • October 23, 2012
    nielas
    • In Hunt For Red October Russian torpedoes have a safety feature that will only arm the torpedo when it is a safe distance away from the ship that fired it. Captain Remus knows this so he steers his submarine toward an incoming torpedo so the torpedo does not have time to arm itself and bounces harmlessly off the sub's hull. The pursuing sub then deactivates the safety feature for its next shot so the torpedo no longer has a minimum range.
  • October 24, 2012
    Fighteer
    Petitioning for an unlaunch. There are numerous false examples and the description is balls-out awful.
  • October 24, 2012
    Fighteer
    Unlaunched. Please fix the description and remove examples where the minimum range is not "arbitrary"; that is, it's expected and normal.
  • December 22, 2012
    johnnye
    Bump. Subtrope of Long Range Fighter.

    @tryyourbreast I'd be happy to go through the description and clean up the grammar if you like.
  • December 22, 2012
    StarSword
    @nielas: It's spelled "Ramius," not "Remus." Fixed it in the draft.
  • December 22, 2012
    Chabal2
    Advance Wars: Artillery has a one-square zone in which it is unable to fire. Rocket trucks' are two squares (as they have longer range).
  • January 18, 2013
    elwoz
    Bump. Description still needs help.
  • August 22, 2013
    spacemarine50
  • August 22, 2013
    Koveras
    • Subverted in Dragon Age Origins: you cannot fire ranged weapons at point blank range... unless you take a certain mid-level perk that allows you just that.
  • August 22, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Real-Life

    • Grenade launchers and similar weapons can be fired at any range, but the projectile won't arm itself until it has travelled a certain distance, about 5 metres for 40mm grenades.
  • August 22, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    In Star Craft the terran siege tanks have 2 modes:- In tank mode, the tank is mobile and fires short range weapons. In siege mode, it is planted to the ground and fires long range artillery. The tank is subject to this trope in siege mode
  • August 22, 2013
    BlackMageJ
    In Heroes Of Might And Magic and Kings Bounty, ranged units are limited to melee attacks if there's an enemy unit adjacent to them- not only can they not use their main weapon against the adjacent enemy, they can't fire at anyone else either.
  • August 22, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • The Whiteboard has a strip during the first zombie apocalypse arc where Doc is reminded how this applies to grenade launchers.
    Roger: "You just wasted one guy with a three hundred dollar bullet!'
  • August 22, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Real Life: The Gyrojet, a handheld micro-missile launcher had the shortcoming that it's missiles took several meters to get up to speed- at point blank range they would simply bounce off the target.
  • August 22, 2013
    Tallens
    • During the Battle off Samar the USS Samuel B. Roberts got so close to the Imperial cruiser Chokai that the Japanese ship couldn't aim its guns low enough to hit them.
  • August 23, 2013
    Nomic
    In earlier editions of Warhammer40000 barrage weapons had a minimum range. In the 6th edition they still have a minimum range for indirect fire, but can still fire at targets closer than that if they have line of sight to them. However since te rules forbid you from intentionally placing blast markers on your own units (barring a few specific exceptions), blast weapons (which include all barrage weapons) still have a minimum range in some cases; if the entire enemy unit can get so close that you can't place a blast marker on them without hitting the firing unit as well, you can't fire it.
  • August 23, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Should I take this on?
  • August 23, 2013
    godofgamers
    In Slender The Arrival, you can't stun the Proxy with the flashlight's high-beam when it's too close.
  • August 23, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In Dungeons And Dragons' later editions, bows were given this feature to represent the difficulty of drawing and firing an arrow at close quarters (it could be overcome with the "Point Blank Shot" feat, however).

    • In Real Life this was one of the reasons "gyrojet" guns (basically weapons that fired self propelled mini-rockets instead of solid bullets) never caught on. Their ammunition took a while to accelerate, meaning they had less momentum at close range. By comparison, normal bullets had their maximum momentum the moment they left the barrel.
  • August 24, 2013
    Mauri
    Well this trope has some pros and cons and it brings a counterpart to maximum range so... examples: Tabletop Games:
    • Another Warhammer40k example: The Basilisks despite being a cannon with plating has to be using the secondary weapons if the weapon gets close despite the fact that the enemy warlord can be in front of the cannon.
    Video Games:
    • The Nintendo Wars series takes the minimum range and maximum range tropes and sticks to them.
    • Averted in Tactics Ogre, as an archer could fire a bow at point blank. Given that for some quirk in the code it can't be countered it is a way to help the player since the game is nintendo hard.
    • Played straight as hell in Final Fantasy Tactics with minimum and maximum range. Despite the game having the chances to use a better projectile module.
  • August 24, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Tabletop Games
    • In Big Eyes Small Mouth, one of the custom variables for the Weapon attribute (which covers all types of attack abilities) is Indirect, which lets the attack strike through a ballistic arc. However, rank 1 of the variable restricts the attack from targeting less than half of its maximum range (determined by the Range variable); rank 2 reduces this to ten percent; rank 3 is the maximum and removes the restriction. Splash Damage is handled by the Area variable instead, so there may not be any practical reason for an attack to have a minimum range.
  • August 24, 2013
    spacemarine50
    If a TV Tropes example is allowed:
  • August 25, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Of course, not if you're Friendly Fireproof.
  • August 25, 2013
    Chabal2
    Enforced by item 868 of Things Mr Welch Is No Longer Allowed To Do In An RPG:
    I cannot have a gun with an area of effect larger than its range.
  • August 25, 2013
    Tallens
    Got examples piling up that need to be added.
  • August 26, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Is that mine or someone else?
  • August 26, 2013
    Mauri
    Well I guess it became up for grabs so... anyone can go and start putting the examples on the trope.
  • August 26, 2013
    spacemarine50
    • Any examples I missed? Posted twice?
    • Should we do folders here?
    • Where does MR Welch example go?
  • August 27, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Also, how is this related to Point Defenseless?
  • September 6, 2013
    spacemarine50
    What's left until launching?
  • September 6, 2013
    m8e
    Well there is that arbitrary thing. Examples that's not arbitrary could maybe be rewritten to Playing With.
  • September 6, 2013
    spacemarine50
    I didn't create this YKTTW. And it was inspired my Arbitrary Maximum Range.
  • September 6, 2013
    zarpaulus
    I suspect the Point Defenseless thing is because PD is intended to have very short range.
  • September 6, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe add "this trope would lead to Point Defenseless when played the wrong way (nevermind that point defenses should have very low minimum range!)".
  • September 6, 2013
    joshbl56
    Real Life
    • Pole arms (like spears and pikes) require you to be so far away from an enemy to actually hit them. If they are too close, you can't stab them with the end and won't be able to build enough momentum to hurt them by swinging the weapon.

    Just a note but this restriction is almost always removed from games, so you can hit an enemy no matter how close they are.
  • September 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Classic Traveller Book 4 Mercenary. Several new weapons could not be used at Close or Short range (from 0 to 5 meters away), such as the various PGMP's and FGMP's. There was no reason given for this.
  • September 8, 2013
    DAN004
  • September 8, 2013
    DracMonster
    Little correction on World of Warcraft, it used to be like that, but was changed some time ago (And the Hunters Rejoiced...). Ranged weapons can be fired point-blank (unless its been changed back, not currently subscribed.) There are other ranged attacks with a minimum range, though.
  • September 8, 2013
    zarpaulus
    ^^^^ They have that in D&D.
  • September 8, 2013
    Koveras
    Just a cross-wick: I have this trope listed under Common Tactical Gameplay Elements YKTTW. Will add a proper wick once it's launched.
  • September 8, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^^ I don't have a Wo W example on here anywhere.
  • September 10, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ It's the second bullet under Warcraft.
  • September 10, 2013
    Melkior
    Literature

    • The soft sci-fi story Through Space To The Planets has an example of a "ray" gun which also has a gas-like effect, meaning that it cannot be used at close quarters for fear of harming the operator and any other nearby "friendlies".
  • September 10, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Some weapons in the Super Robot Taisen series cannot be used at point blank range. Ironically, this includes the shotgun in most games, which cannot be used against an adjacent enemy.
  • September 11, 2013
    Arivne
    I think this trope would work a lot better if it didn't have the word "Arbitrary" in the title and all references to the minimum range not having a good reason removed. For one thing, a lot more of the submitted examples would fit.
  • September 16, 2013
    Nomic
    • Rogue Trader (the RPG) has minimum range for Nova Cannons, as they cannot safely be used too close to the ship, having splash damage and a chanse to explode closer to the firer than intented (technically they can still hit the firer if you fire at the absolute minimum range and roll very badly). They may have had the same rules in Battlefleet Gothic, as RT space combat rules are heavily based on it.
  • September 16, 2013
    dalek955
    At one point in Honor Harrington, some Marines need to use an antitank launcher to blow open a blast door, but can't use the best munition for the job because the range is shorter than said munition's minimum safe distance.
  • September 16, 2013
    Bisected8
    • Also in Warhammer 40K: The Tau are very poor at close ranged combat (because their reflexes are much slower than humans). As a result, most of their weapons have a great deal of trouble locking onto targets at close range.

    Also, as an alternative name, what about Long Range Only Weapon?
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Eh, Arbitrary Minimum Range works well for me.
  • September 17, 2013
    Koveras
    For me, too.

    Just chiming in to say that Common Tactical Gameplay Elements has been launched and this page will be linked from it once it's launched.
  • September 17, 2013
    Bisected8
    Why did you overwrite my post, zarpaulus?
  • September 17, 2013
    zarpaulus
    You mispelled "Tau". You spelled it like the Chinese religion rather than the Greek letter.
  • September 17, 2013
    PoignardAzur
    What about Minimum Effective Range, simply ?
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Why the hat loss? D:
  • September 17, 2013
    Bisected8
    Really? Must have been a typo.

    You aren't meant to edit replies, though (unless it's to stop something that's breaking the page), since it overwrites the name attached to it.
  • September 17, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^Someone posted that they didn't like the name, and lost 2 hats because of that.
  • September 18, 2013
    mauri
    I guess that for the pair to work effectively the Arbitrary minimum range must stick. Still it is an opinion.
  • September 18, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
  • September 19, 2013
    dalek955
    In the Gyrojet example, apparently you could actually defeat one by sticking your finger in the barrel.
  • September 19, 2013
    aurora369
    Averted with the Russian "F-1 Defensive" pineapple grenade. It has an area of fragmentation effect over 200 m, which is more than you can typically throw it. It is meant to be thrown from cover.
  • September 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Title crowner plz.
  • September 19, 2013
    spacemarine50
    How do I do that? And should figure out whether current is good or to change it.
  • September 19, 2013
    PoignardAzur
    aurora : actually, every frag grenade ever has an area of fragmentation larger than your throwing range (even if you run immediately after throwing them). But I don't think that qualifies for this trope.
  • September 22, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Does this apply to almost every frag grenade? But the modern soldier is armored, and is usually in cover when he throws the grenade.
  • September 22, 2013
    joshbl56
    ^It could be. I say we do a list of different flavors of Arbitrary Minimum Ranges:

    • Not being able to use a weapon from close range because of how the weapon is built (being too long or too bulky for moving at certain angles).
    • Splash damage/Ricocheting. It's not that you can't use the weapon if the enemy is too close, it's that you will probably hurt yourself or everyone around you as well.

    I'm pretty sure there are more ways this could be categorized but these are the only two I could think of after looking through some examples.
  • September 25, 2013
    m8e
    Why the a 'keep name' crowner instead of a alternative name crowner?

    Put all the suggested names in a crowner, if Arbitrary Minimum Range wins it wins.
  • September 25, 2013
    spacemarine50
    I thought the main debate was current or a different name. Based off of comments, there's about = like current to don't like current, and no other name has much support.
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Launch plz.
  • September 27, 2013
    AmyGdala
    Why not just Minimum Range? "Arbitrary" falselu implies that it's arbitrary. And it needlessly lengthens the name. It also sounds like the inverse of Arbitrary Maximum Range, when it isn't - that's only for arbitrary examples.
  • September 27, 2013
    Mauri
    ^ Not necessarily as in many games it is Arbitrary and it is a "must follow" rule which is part of the game rule books. That is why some of us think of it as Arbitrary Minimum Range. Since it is something we can't change.
  • September 27, 2013
    AmyGdala
    But is arbitrary a condition? If it may be arbitrary but needn't be arbitrary, then the name can't include the word "arbitrary."
  • September 27, 2013
    spacemarine50
    @Dan: The name's under debate (see crowner). And another crowner might be coming, Speaking of which, please vote on the crowner.
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ I voted that one up.
  • September 27, 2013
    Exxolon
    If I recall correctly, real life arrow fire has to travel a certain distance to be fully effective. The reason is the arrow flexes when fired and takes time to straighten up - if it hits armour while still flexed it's very likely to be deflected.
  • September 29, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Bump for crowner votes.
  • October 2, 2013
    spacemarine50
    2nd bump.
  • October 2, 2013
    dotchan
    For Final Fantasy Tactics, you can get around the arbitrary minimum range of guns and crossbows by putting aiming for something that's in the same direction of fire as the enemy you are trying to target, at which point said enemy will proceed to eat a bullet or arrow.
  • October 3, 2013
    DAN004
    Launch?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable