... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Melee Diagram Rough Draft

Here's a quick mock-up of what I was talking about in the previous post. It's an overhead image showing a possible marching formation in a 10' wide corridor. I just whipped this up in Google Sketchup using the first appropriate image I could find in the 3d Warehouse, then modified the image moderately in the Gimp.

For the actual diagram, I would need to do my own figures, make each different, and position them more exactly, possibly with some goblins added. There'd probably be some kind of tic-tac-toe grid centered on the lead fighter so that I could number the boxes for possible use with dice rolls of some kind: overhead bomb hit location, splatter effects, or the like. Not that any of these dice rolls will be that complex; I just think that when you get to something really simple like compass directions, it's easier to explain it with a diagram.

But, as mentioned previously, the main goal of this diagram is as a reminder of how much room a figure actually takes up, and how long a weapon can actually reach. Perhaps I should do a long corridor with multiple figures, to show people carrying 10' poles or other gear.


  1. Excellent. This makes immediately apparent that the only way you are going to fight three abreast is with stabbing weapons; in a tight formation, shields (or keep-away weapons like pikes) are essential to make up for lack of maneuver room; and that guy with the sword that comes up to his chin is going to be alone if he decides to fight in that space.

  2. 1. Guy with the sword up to his chin(I am one of these guys) can adopt a thrusting posture and use it as a spear. This is why people carried swords; they are multi-purpose.

    2. You don't actually need much room to throw a cut with a Medieval weapon. The action is like punching - the hand/hands do not whirl around. Instead they travel in a straight line. As the hand(s) travel(s), you twitch your hips or pivot forward behind the cut, thus turning the weapon into an extension of your body. Try this if you don't believe me.

    3. A fun formation I've tried at reenactment events is to give the middle guy a spear, and have two swords men flanking him to keep him alive.

    I think what actually happens as space becomes more confined, is that high-end weapons lose their particular advantages: polearms become no better than spears, then staffs, then useless; two handed swords become spears, then daggers (you can shorten up and grip the blade).

  3. Nice summary, Zornhau. I was going to post something similar.

  4. Good info, Zornhau. I think this means my house rule (here) that swords in close quarters can do damage as a lower-swinging weapon is on track. Would you say maces and axes are impaired in close quarters though?

  5. Given that maces and axes were weapons of choice for people who also carried swords, I think that they are probably better in the press - when people are close enough to jostle - than a sword. The same goes for the falchion.

    However, the main reason for carrying these is improved performance vs armour.