But regardless of what system I use I have noticed that we constantly forget to use the rule.
I think using this often not used rule
makes a huge difference. For instance, shortswords or daggers are almost useless weapons, but the longer weapons are always supreme.
This goes against the shortsword for instance being a very effective weapon - I think the Romans would tend to disagree
. I do think the Harnic shortsword is modelled more after the Viking or Saxon (and even Frankish) Scramseax - but it would function very similar to a gladius.
I feel that open/close mode should reflect what happens when you are far INSIDE the MINIMUM effective range of the opponent's weapon, and if you have a much shorter weapon, that you have the advantage... Another way to look at it - using the combat hex grid - is when both combattants are inside the SAME hex, but neither is prone...
Representing combat is somewhat abstract, so I think it's tough to do this exactly. TROS had a system where if sucessful, you closed to the optimum range for your weapon, and the opponents if longer would have a disadvantage based on length.
To me the TROS system works well 1 on one, but is tough in busier melees. And I'd hate to have a Normal/Close/ver close range for HM, too much complication IMO, the Open/close works fine for me.
I've used the inversion of classes - seems to work pretty well for the most part.
I like HMG's press attack used in conjunction with this - allows someone to close the range, a sucessful press means the attackers are now in close mode.
I also allow a "changing or ranges" if a party gets a TA.
Now this is my own houserules, but I have an additonal D6 rolled for any stumble/fumble/shock. If the dies roll is exceded by 1-3, a TA results. It menas a slip or slight fumble where the one who lost the TA is not knocked down or dropping there weapon, but enough of a slip up to cause an advantage for the opponent (A shock roll failed by 1-3 is a momentary stun). Of course these TA's also allow a change in range, from normal to close, or vice versa.
I also allow certain close attacks my weapons, differeing from their normal attacks. This is a "haft" attack (Think hockey cross check, only for a two handed weapon, use a 2b aspect, AC1). I also allow a shield bash at +10 on the press tables.
So someone in close range with a battle axe against the dagger wielder has an option - use their wepaon normally, but with an inverted AC of 1, or use the haft 2b attack with an AC of 4. The haft may not do as much, but get a TA and that well placed haft to the face gives you a TA where the battle axe can be used to it's full ability as the range goes again to normal (and another houserule, defending from a TA is at -20)
Makes melees for fun with more choices for the players, also represents shorter weapons well IMO.