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I have no problems with lingering or continuing melee combats any more than with continuing firefights.  I have always viewed melee as a combination of very close range firing, and people dashing about, along with an assortment of hand to hand situations. Of course, even continuing melees should resolve decisively within a move or so.

It can even be the “milling about” that is described at Waterloo by the French horse after they reached the British Squares. The attack on Hougomont could be seen as an hours long continuing melee.

I also think the problem is better resolved, and less conceptually challenging. ( and rarer) in designs that do not have a fixed turn sequence, or fixed move distances, if for no other reason than the “perfect” planned move is less frequent, both in the attack and in defense.

It is also linked to indecisive combat results because many designs are very linear in their modifiers ( +1, +2, etc.) there are ways to make the advantages more exponential and pronounced for certain situations such as rear or flank attacks, that minimize indecisive encounters except those where a wavering delay might more likely occur, such as a direct frontal attack.

Finally, it assumes that each turn has only one melee opportunity, and that those opportunities for resolution are also fixed in number and sequence.  In DFII, for instance, melee resolution opportunities can vary from zero to four opportunities in a turn!  Few continuing melees survive a full turn without resolution.

I think the operating term is resolution.  Whatever occured on the table was not a simple combat effect, hit or miss, but the resolution of a complex interaction of forces at close range in a confused and chaotic environment.  It might take some time for both commanders to become aware of the outcome-as shown on the table- even after it had been decided in “reality”.

All this facing, etc. may be an imaginary, or at least rare, possibility in reality.  A unit that is flanked is flanked, and, at the very least, disordered enough that any organized change of facing once contact is made is probably an impossibility.  The same is true of a rear attack-I doubt many units could form a coherent response to being meleed from the rear.  It is what it is.  Resolve it, hopefully within the turn.

I think most rules work hard to allow the gamer a way out of a bad situation.  Gamers certainly massage rules to provide an escape hatch.  I say make them live with their problems….You’ve been flanked, you perfidious Englishman!


  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by repiqueone.