Guide to Arming and Equipping
I posted day one that dual wielding was the way to go.
Now I don't do it the same way anymore and think dual wielding paired weapons is purely conditional and this is why:
There is no damage or AP advantage to dual wielding.
There is no incentive to wield two handed either.
Two Handed Weapons
Two handed is not an efficient use of your AP.
There are some abilities. The multi-hit abilities. That could stand to benefit from going two handed.
Three times a whole bunch is greater than three times half of a whole bunch but the AP for the two handed version of these abilities is double the AP of the single handed attack.
I use the heroic multi-hit ability on my gang leader. I get multiple kills per game no problem.
I got ten kills in my last pit match. 4 were from my gang leader tossing out a heroic multi-hit then finishing off with single shots.
Most often then I would have some spare AP left over to start softening up another opponent.
Single wielding a weapon is fine for me.
Doubtful if going two handed due to the lack of AP efficiency even with the ability to take down 200 HP with one heroic flurry strike.
Furthermore with so many "grab and carry" mission objectives using a 2 handed weapon will disarm you if you use the carry ability.
I don't put much faith in a weapon that makes me disarm myself in order to get victory conditions in match.
There is one case where I think that dual wielding in melee may pay off and that would be purely conditional and not to maximize AP economy and utility to kill.
That is when you want two different secondary weapon effects without having to go into your inventory.
If you felt the situation required some multiple combination of Stun, Bleed or elevated Crit then dual wielding could sketchily and conditionally be justified.
I can't fathom a reason or use for this at the moment unless there are state effects I haven't seen.
Being able to stun and bleed or have high crit and bleed or any of those combinations without swapping into inventory does not seem wise at this time.
I have one gang at the highest difficulty and outfitted with Tier 5 weapons. I doubt if there are any spooky or hidden state effects worth putting both on at once rather than stacking one effect by itself by using single weapon attack.
I tend to go either for stun % or +crit on my weapon and don't mix the two in my gang let alone one ganger.
I don't think that there is any reason not to maximize AP economy and utility.
The only true and viable reason I think you would want to dual wield melee is for a 2 attack Ambush ability.
Even that is too conditional for my tastes because you have to be dual wielding, save up 30 AP at the end of your turn and then hopes someone wanders by to trigger your Ambush "gotchya" moment.
That's too much to hope for and too conditional.
With few exceptions gang Bosses and Heavy gangers are the toons that can take down an uninjured OP4 in one turn.
But not in one action. And certainly not in overwatch.
It's a conditional gambit and it won't kill anyone. Not a gambit I would use.
Ranged Attack Section
Two Handed (Classic 40K "basic" weapon e.g. rifle, shotgun, assault rifle)
I minimize the number of gangers who carry two handed range weapons for the same reason I never carry two handed melee weapons.
If the gang member picks up an objective item they are disarmed.
Also in pit missions I nearly rage quit and started filing bug reports the first time I got hit with the "Shock Collar" debuff. I kept my cool and played through the match and took my beating.
On exiting the match I noticed the shooting = shock collar debuff rule.
Shock collar stuns you and does 50 to 70 points of damage if you fire a ranged attack or toss a grenade. AI does this repeatedly in some matches. Makes for easier kills. They do more damage to themselves than the grenades do to your gangers.
I equip my Dead Eye with an Autorifle from the hideout because if I am going to need long range it will be in the first turn or two and that saves wasting AP to go into my bag.
Autorifle because I feel it is the most economic two handed range weapon for the class. More actions between reloads.
I keep a single handed melee weapon and a pistol in their bag so I have a choice of ranged or melee if they have to pick up an objective or in case I go into a Pit Fight with Shock Collars.
I do the same with Heavies. I prefer the Autocannon. Their double shot or their heroic triple shot can often kill with one action. I keep a one hander and a pistol in their bags for the same reason as Dead Eyes.
In melee you should have it set up to go into your bag for a melee weapon instead of having strike disabled or having to go open handed which has a nice stun chance and slick animation but no real punch to it like an axe or a spud-jack.
I can find absolutely no reason to dual wield ranged.
The rules are more restrictive than melee. You can mix weapon types in melee so even the secondary ability/state effect argument is gone for dual wielding ranged.
You can *CARRY* two one handed range weapons of two different types.
The type has to match to get off a double shot.
The double shot from a pistol is mathematically the equivalent as a single shot from a rifle as far as typical damage and AP cost. You can also have more room for more AP converted to damage using a pistol especially if you have to activate an item or ability that uses AP or jump or vault during your turn.
If you are running something mathematically equivalent but more economic then why not also have the utility of a melee weapon in the other hand?
All bases covered. No need to dig one out of your bag if you get jumped. You can ambush or overwatch, your choice.
The only benefit for dual wielding ranged would be for a double strike overwatch of one handed ranged weapons. Once again this is the equivalent to an overwatch shot with a rifle. I arm my Dead Eye to have the flexibility to do both.
This would be no different from carrying a rifle or a heavy weapon and doing overwatch with the exception that in one case there are two "to hit" rolls and in the other there is one "to hit" roll.
Economy and utility are the reason my dedicated Dead Eye and Heavy, if and only if they need to, can go into their bag and pull out a pistol or a one hand melee weapon and arm it for 5 AP and not be too bad off in any situation.
Inefficient spending of AP or MP (which feeds entrenchment to give you more AP) that you do not need to spend means less DPS for you.
The heart of this game is successful AP and MP management over anything else.
The ability to run 5 gangers with economic choices of AP and MP use so that opponents go down and you stay up is the shortest description of this game I think possible.
The primary benefit for 2 handed range weapons is an increased range of 15 meters which is useful at the beginning of a match for long range shots or wider overwatch areas.
Also certain abilities for Heavy gangers can only be used with their heavy weapon.
There are some skills that favor one handed but I don't feel they are strong enough to support going into ranged dual wield because you rob yourself of the utility of never being caught without either a melee weapon already in your hand or in your bag where you can get it for 5 AP.
It is best to have one in your hand. All you will lose net in this manner is 15 M of potential range that won't mean very much after turn 1 or unless you are playing a range specific class.
Furthermore you can pick up the single hand range weapon specific skills and passive buffs, the range weapon general skills and passive buffs AND have a single handed melee weapon with its skills and passive buffs and have the utility of not needing to spend AP to disengage or to go into your bag if OP4 gets you into melee.
The economy to squeeze off as many attacks as possible of melee or ranged especially if you had to spend AP to jump or to operate zip lines, doors, or elevators will lead you to success. You can play the game without a single wasted AP and if not that then certainly less wasted AP.
This is what I mean by economy of AP use and utility.
On most consumables I only bring one of a certain type per match and give it to a specific ganger or class.
I would rather have some buffs every game instead of having one game where every ganger has that buff.
Also the store inventory changes usually after every third match or every three "shifts".
Make a list of your favorite buffs and check the store for them every time it flips.
Also loot your enemies for consumables if you can. Take their weapons too. To sell and buy more consumables for your next match.
An adrenaline shot in the boss' backpack if I have one. Sometimes I need to scoop up a ganger who got over extended and away from the pack.
The boss in my gang is the one most likely not to be tied up for more than one turn in combat and the most likely one to remain at full health for the entire game so they get the "de-fib" kit.
A med kit or other healing item one per ganger. This is for topping off. Know where your healing stations are, or have a fellow ganger use their kit on you if needed.
Once you start getting ahead of the OP4 gangs in bodies their bodies will drop faster so try to keep all of your gangers up.
If you have one that is too wounded to survive another attack have them drop back and be useful on overwatch and try to place them in a good spot for covering fire and keeping them alive.
Nothing leads to a loss like letting your opponent take free actions and turns because you lost a ganger. Same goes for them.
My Mechanic takes build med station as first skill. I drop this by extraction points or the deployment point at the start of the game if possible. For 20 AP the mechanic can drop one a turn nearly anywhere. I drop only one because the enemy can use them too and one is easy to defend.
A "full battle or until they are stunned" buff like Wild Snake to the boss for melee buffs.
There is most likely a ranged equivalent of this buff. Not sure what it is called.
As a rule I play melee for my kills and taking objectives and range primarily for covering fire of overwatch for the advancing melee, killing low health guys who disengage from melee and for opportunistic kills on enemies wounded by their own actions or multiple gangs in one operation.
I play Escher because of their house ability. Goliath can play like this too with melee.
Orlock can benefit from choosing the equivalent range buff consumable along with any gang where you play range as your priority over melee. They can pick my balanced style or a more heavy ranged style due to their nice skill packages and house specific stats favoring ranged attack.
A single use of a "-XX% AP to attack action for one turn" potion of the greatest strength or tier for my boss.
This is one of the ones like adrenaline that I try to use only one of per operation so that I have one on hand every time I deploy.
If I can use my boss to get a first or second turn kill with these buffs then we are firmly on the road to at minimum a draw if not an outright win. Only a draw if things go horribly horribly wrong.
The Saboteur AOE buff skill is one of my early picks too. All gang members in a 5 M radius get a nice set of combat buffs from an active skill "buff grenade".
Try to activate the Saboteur first while the gang is all in the same deployment area before they split up because this buff lasts the full battle.
The +15 AP aura or the +100% AP to use ranged ability aura on my heavy. These are active skills and one helps you get an extra shot or extra swing from a one handed weapon every turn and the other one quite literally makes the opponent pay double to shoot anyone in the aura.
Game Starts. Now What?
Turn one activate the Saboteur and buff gang before they split up.
Heavy aura choice made and on on first turn.
Also on turn one take the full battle melee buff potion for the Boss.
Before the Boss attacks their first target in melee have them take their -XX% to attack action potion. The Heroic triple strike at a discount and the 7 AP single handed melee strike can kill two enemies in the first turn if fully buffed out, you get enough crits, and the OP4 are nice enough to get within range.
Heal as needed and start building up some free turns with no opposition by taking down one foe at a time.