Questions for the Audience: Melee Tempi

Hey, look, actual almost content about melee. Okay, so it’s actually meta-content. There’s an idea I’ve been kicking around in my brain for a while which will get a more thoroughly written out post soon, but for the time being, I’m going to make a related thought kick around in your brain.
Using your favorite definition of a tempo (mine is “a tempo is the duration of an action or moment of inaction”), what are some tempi that you encounter on the melee field?

2 comments to Questions for the Audience: Melee Tempi

  • Gawin

    For melees, it would seem that thinking of tempi as periods of transition would be apt, especially if we think of in terms of units. Units in transition present opportunities.

    A unit moving from point A to point B will have difficulty in maneuvering in a different direction, may have difficulty bringing the full force to bear, and won’t have the advantage of defensive terrain. This last bit is especially true in the woods where points A and B may be “fortresses” of trees, brambles, mounds, holes, and rocks.

    Another transition period where this is true is while fencers are returning to their units/line from rez. Often these fencers are less aware, focused on the front line, and scattered individually rather than in units. Raiders in the backfield can exploit this transition easily.

    A third example is during a fight when a hole forms in a line. Both the creation of the hole and the exploitation of the hole are tactically important and would be individual tempi. Using this example, a single tempi action would be to kill a whole unit at once while a duo tempo action would be to make a hole, then breach it. This second option gives the other unit a chance to respond, while the first does not.

  • Staffan Arffuidsson

    Actually, the Italian’s terms seem to work well for me. Each sub-group, or unit, would maintain their own timing, but I’d still use the Italianated terms. That said, I would change them slightly, as seen below.

    Stesso Tiempo (Single Time): The time when a unit can complete an action. Examples are “Advance”, “Engage”, “Dress the Line”, etc.

    Dui Tempi (Two Time): This is when the unit incorporates two actions into their action. And example would be; “Advance to that hay bale then engage the enemy.” The “advance to the hay bale” would be part one and the “engage the enemy” would be the second. You really don’t want it much more complex than this, because you could create confusion within the unit.

    Contratempi (Counter Time): The is when you mess up the enemy unit’s actions. An example would be when they are attempting to maneuver and you start picking them off.

    I agree that these are not “tempo” in the truest sense. But, they can simplify the actions of the battle field when setting up the fight, and then analyzing in the after-action of the scenario.

    Thanks for the interesting question!

    In Service to the West,
    Staffan Arffuidsson

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