What kind of melee combat do i like in movies?
(Leaving aside boss monster fights and sticking to humanoid creatures for now.)
1) I like highly skilled fighters / heroes mowing down minions.
2) I like two highly skilled fighters finding it difficult to get through the other’s defenses.
3) I like a type (2) fight between two highly skilled fighters who are also in heavy armor to end up as a real slog (like the fight between Robin Hood and the Sheriff in the film “Robin and Marian”) because even when one of them does get a strike it is often negated by the armor.
4) I like a highly skilled (and particularly agile?) unarmored or light armored hero being able to take on a lot of opponents but only if he keeps moving and makes sure too many can’t get to him at once i.e. fighting on steps, in doorways etc.
Aside from the above i also want a melee combat system to be
1) As simple as possible as complication distracts from the story aspect.
2) Evocative – it needs to appeal to the imagination so complication above the minimum needed should only be there if it has an effect on the drama of the fight. For example I think separate rolls to hit and penetrate armor are more dramatic than a more simplified combined roll because it increases the tension.
3) Character attributes should matter as they personalize the combat
So thinking about this list i think what i’m looking for is a mechanic where the base chance to hit is calculated by comparing skill vs skill which is then modified by armor, number of attackers, stamina etc.