Ranges in Combat

In the SCRPG there are four basic ranges in Melee Combat: Tight, Melee, Onset, and Clear. None of these ranges are a specific distance, but more of a loose judgement about the combat situation relative to the lengths of weapons being used. The Melee and Onset ranges of a broadsword and a halberd are very different.

Tight: This is as close as two combatants can get to each other, and very often involves grappling, but this isn't mandatory to be in Tight. A great many weapons will lose options at this range, but most weapons are still effective, albeit limited.

Melee: This range is best described as being well within the reach of the longest melee weapon in the fight. Imagine if you held a sword in your outstretched hand and turned, drawing a circle in the sand as far as the sword will reach. Any opponent within that circle would be considered to be in your melee Range.

Onset : Once again imagine the circle from the melee example, but now any opponent outside that circle, and yet one that you could reach quickly for an attack (stride and attack) is in Onset Range. Also, if you think of two Olympic fencers in a duel, most of the duel is at Onset Range, 

Clear: This range in melee combat is really anywhere outside Onset Range, but with fifteen feet of the longest melee weapon. Therefore, if someone is Clear of an opponent they are not in immediate threat of attack, and it will take a few moments for the opponent to reach them. In some cases, one combatant could be "Clear" of another while having their opponent at Onset, such as someone with a pike, which can be upwards of 25' long (but more practically for individual combat, 9-10 feet) facing an opponent with a gladius. 

Missile Ranges

Every ranged weapon in the game has six or seven ranges: Short, Close, Standard, Long, Very Long, Extreme, and some have the additional Indirect Fire Range, or Volley Range. Most of these are self explanatory, and when looking at ranged weapons each category is defined by a specific distance. The Indirect Fire Range is a bit special, as that represents weapons that are highly effective at casting a projectile in a high far reaching arch while maintaining impressive accuracy and damage potential. The classic example is the English Longbow where archers trained at a minimum of 220 yards. The point of this type of attack is far more about hitting an area than an individual target and is therefore more useful in warfare.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice