Created By: WaxingName on August 22, 2012 Last Edited By: WaxingName on November 14, 2012
Troped

Close Range Combatant

Fights mostly or entirely at close range.

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Trope

Formerly Close Quarters Combatant

A fighter who specializes in close range combat. Is generally ineffective at long-range threats, or just plain lacks the ability to fight at long range.

In video games, especially fighting games, characters who are Close Quarters Combatants tend to have strong "physical" attacks but ineffective projectiles, or absolutely none at all. These characters tend to be Mighty Glaciers or Lightning Bruisers. Fragile Speedsters who have no projectiles but rely on Hit-and-Run Tactics can qualify as this.

This only applies where long-range combat with projectiles or longer melee weapons like swords are a notable part of a work. It's not interesting in settings where close-quarters combat is the only kind of combat.

The inverse is Long-Range Fighter. Subtrope of Necessary Drawback.

Anime and Manga
  • Bleach: While the preferred method of combat is with swords, many of the characters are capable of fighting hand-to-hand, but the Onmitsukido specializes in unarmed combat; making this Yoruichi and Soi Fon's preferred style of combat. They're so proficient at it, that they're able able to take on armed, captain level, opponents!
  • Naruto: It's pointed out in at least two instances (by Shikamaru and Kakashi), that Naruto is pretty much worthless for an enemy specializing in ranged combat.

Film-Live Action

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer 40K: In a galaxy where the weakest weapon in the setting is a laser gun than can blow a man's arm off, warriors of Khorne and Orks live only to get into melee combat as fast as possible and chop the enemy apart with axes.
  • Star Fleet Battles. Some Hydran ships (such as fighters) are armed with fusion beams. While deadly at close range, they're ineffective at long range, which means that the ships have to get in close to the enemy to be effective. This allows opponents with longer range weapons to stay at a distance and pick off the Hydrans while they can't hit back.
  • Avalon Hill's PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader. Infantry units have very short range, usually only 1 hex (adjacent), compared to the much longer ranges of tanks and artillery.

Video Games
  • In Super Smash Bros.:
  • In Borderlands 2; Zero, the Assassin, can be built as either this or a sniper, depending on the skills the player puts points into.
    • Gaige: her Anarchy skill tree gives boosted damage and close-range options at the cost of accuracy.
  • Pokémon has Close Combat, which is described as the user getting in close to the opponent, but causing defense to fall due to being very close.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Magnus, an ally in Chapter 2, is this since he lacks the ability to shoot projectiles with his weapon. This is especially noticeable in Chapter 18, where Pit uses Magnus' body (long story) to fight off enemies.
  • The Pyro in Team Fortress 2 is built around this trope. His flamethrower stops working after a short distance but is very effective against those close enough. His shotgun works at a greater distance, but the pellets spread out to the point where they do little damage. The only long range weapon he possesses is his optional flare gun, but it's not very effective unless used against an opponent already set on fire by a short range fire burst.
  • Starting around Mega Man X4, Zero gains a far greater focus on swordplay to differentiate him from X. This requires him to be in close proximity to the target to do damage; he has some ranged attacks, but they generally pale, damage-wise, in comparison to his various sword moves. His own series, however, gives Zero a gun very much like X's for him to use instead of the sword, if the player chooses to.
  • Akihiko in Persona 4: Arena qualifies, with normal and persona attacks, to the point that using his persona Caesar is not a good idea.
  • Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout Three have Melee and Unarmed characters. The former only uses various daggers, bats, swords, and the like, but does also have things like throwing knives/spears or tomahawks as a viable ranged option. Unarmed characters have nothing of the short. While there is no shortage of Melee enemies, a large portions of your opponents use guns, making this a tricky build
  • In Naruto: Clash of Ninja, Rock Lee and Might Guy are powerful in close combat, but lack the ability to throw shurikens or otherwise attack at range. Likewise for Naruto in his Nine-Tailed form.

Visual Novels
  • Suzushiro of Princess Waltz. Whereas the other princesses all have either long reaching or projectile weapons, she relies entirely on the overwhelming power of her fists, with no ranged attacks whatsoever.

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Every non-bending fighter is this, only exception being Mai who throws knives from a distance. Ty Lee and Suki are the standouts as the former fights strictly using hand-to-hand alone, while the latter combines martial prowess with swordfighting and her fans.
Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • August 23, 2012
    Arivne
    Because Type Labels Are Not Examples, we try to avoid dividing tropes into "types". Instead use a descriptive term, such as:

    • Type 1 -> Always Fights At Close Range
    • Type 2 -> Prefers To Fight At Close Range
    • Type 3 -> Fights Best At Close Range

    I assume you meant to say "close range" instead of "long range" in Type 3.

  • August 23, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Whoops, I admittedly copied this from Long Range Fighter, because, I had the idea that this could be tropable as well.
  • August 23, 2012
    Desertopa
    Suzushiro of Princess Waltz. Whereas the other princesses all have either long reaching or projectile weapons, she relies entirely on the overwhelming power of her fists, with no ranged attacks whatsoever.
  • September 6, 2012
    chicagomel
    Does a move itself count? Pokemon has Close Combat...I suppose the Fighting type might count here, but maybe someone can clarify for me.
  • September 6, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Anything without guns is People Sit On Chairs. I restrict it to where either traditional melee weapons are rare/nonexistent or people with guns fighting hand-on-hand.
  • September 7, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Fighting at close range with guns is currently covered under Gun Kata, which really, really needs a split.
  • September 8, 2012
    Chabal2
    Warhammer 40 K: In a galaxy where the weakest weapon in the setting is a laser gun than can blow a man's arm off, warriors of Khorne and Orks live only to get into melee combat as fast as possible and chop the enemy apart with axes.
  • September 8, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Borderlands 2; Zero, the Assassin, can be built as either this or a sniper, depending on the skills the player puts points into.
  • September 17, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

    • Bleach: While many of the characters are capable of fighting hand-to-hand, the Onmitsukido specializes in unarmed combat; making this Yoruichi and Soi Fon's preferred style of combat. They're so proficient at it, that they're able able to take on armed, captain level, opponents!

    Western animation

  • September 17, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^That's an example of Bare Fisted Monk, not this.
  • September 17, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@WaxingName - hand-to-hand necessitates that the practioner fight in close quarters. The characters in Bleach and Avatar typically fight mid-long range, using kido, shikai and bankai related abilities (Bleach), or using bending (Avatar). Yet, the noted characters fight strictly hand-to-hand.

    How is that not an example of the trope?
  • September 17, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^I don't know much about Bleach, but is a good percentage of the combat in that series long range? Because I did mention in the description that if that isn't so, it's going to be a case of People Sit On Chairs.

    Your Avatar example isn't quite what I remember from that series, so I'm going to edit it quite a bit and add it. And please don't edit a new example in; post it in a new comment.
  • September 17, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@WaxingName - I edited my previous response and answered your question there.
  • September 17, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Added
  • September 28, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Black Widow, Captain America and Thor in The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, something else made by Marvel.
  • September 29, 2012
    Stratadrake
    "This only applies where long-range combat is a notable part of a work. Anything else is People Sit On Chairs."

    Maybe the latter half can be phrased as:

    "it's not interesting in settings where, for example, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting."
  • September 30, 2012
    spacemarine50
    ^ That will make it okay to include bad examples. And need to add something about being armes with non-long-ranged weapons (ie swords), not just nothing.
  • October 5, 2012
    MiinU
    bumping.
  • October 5, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Why? I don't see how out-of-universe examples can even exist.
  • October 5, 2012
    MiinU
    ^good point, ignore previous comment.
  • October 24, 2012
    rolranx
    • the pyro is built around this trope. His flamethrower stops working after a short distance but is very effective against those close enough. His shotgun works at a greater distance, but the pellets spread out to the point where they do little damage. The only long range weapon he possesses is his optional flare gun, but it's not very effective unless used against an opponent already set on fire by a short range fire burst.

  • October 24, 2012
    DracMonster
    Suggestion: Make the title Close Range Combat to make clearer that its not melee.
  • October 24, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^What about the title suggests that it's only melee? It's pretty clear that it can refer to any fighting at close range.
  • October 25, 2012
    spacemarine50
    ^^That is really bad People Sit On Chairs. Basically any time 2 people fight at close range (and close range isn't a set distance apart).
  • October 25, 2012
    rolranx
    addition to the boarderlands 2 comment

    • This was done in the original Boarderlands game as well. Brick's special ability allows him to charge an opponent a close range and punch them to death.
  • October 25, 2012
    ShadowHog
    Starting around Mega Man X4, Zero gains a far greater focus on swordplay to differentiate him from X. This requires him to be in close proximity to the target to do damage; he has some ranged attacks, but they generally pale, damage-wise, in comparison to his various sword moves. His own series, however, gives Zero a gun very much like X's for him to use instead of the sword, if the player chooses to.
  • October 26, 2012
    DracMonster
    @Waxing Name: Oops, I misinterpreted some of your posts above - my bad for not reading the description properly. I have to admit "Character who fights up close" does seem chairs to me - but I'm having trouble describing why it's less appropriate than Long Range Fighter in a logical way.

    Basically, I think Long Range Fighter already carries the implication that the character will have trouble up close. Close Quarters Fighter doesn't seem like it implicitly includes the inverse Achilles Heel.

    Short Reach Fighter might make it clearer.
  • October 27, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^I argue that the name Long Range Fighter doesn't carry the implication of close-range weakness any more than this carries the implication of a long-range weakness. Yet, I know both of them specialize in whatever range is specified since it's all in the name.

    Also, I specify in the description that this trope is only notable when long-range combat is a notable part of the work, otherwise it is People Sit On Chairs. Admittedly, it relies on the fact that it is an inverse of Long Range Fighter to be tropeworthy, but this trope is still needed because of that.
  • October 27, 2012
    ImaHugeMoron
    Akihiko in Persona 4 Arena qualifies, with normal and persona attacks, to the point that using his persona Caesar is not a good idea.
  • October 28, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Star Fleet Battles. Some Hydran ships (such as fighters) are armed with fusion beams. While deadly at close range, they're ineffective at long range, which means that the ships have to get in close to the enemy to be effective. This allows opponents with longer range weapons to stay at a distance and pick off the Hydrans while they can't hit back.
    • Avalon Hill's PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader. Infantry units have very short range, usually only 1 hex (adjacent), compared to the much longer ranges of tanks and artillery.
  • November 11, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    • Naruto: It's pointed out in at least two instances (by Shikamaru and Kakashi), that Naruto is pretty much worthless for an enemy specializing in ranged combat.
  • November 13, 2012
    CleverPun
    Borderlands 2 Additional example

    • Gaige: her Anarchy skill tree gives boosted damage and close-range options at the cost of accuracy.

    Also the squirrel chick from Blaz Blue, I forget her name -- * She fights using heavy tonfa that do a lot of damage, but barely extend past her fists.

    • Fallout New Vegas and Fallout Three have Melee and Unarmed characters. The former only uses various daggers, bats, swords, and the like, but does also have things like throwing knives/spears or tomahawks as a viable ranged option. Unarmed characters have nothing of the short. While there is no shortage of Melee enemies, a large portions of your opponents use guns, making this a tricky build

    I would also second Drac's suggestion about the name being changed to Close Range Combantant or Close Range Fighter-- not for ambiguity reasons, but so that the relationship with Long Range Fighter is more obvious.
  • November 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    I still want to keep the current title because it's based on a pre-existing term, and I already think the relationship with Long Range Fighter is already spelled out and unambiguous. Close Range Fighter is also a rather unclever snowclone.
  • November 14, 2012
    troacctid
    • In Naruto Clash Of Ninja, Rock Lee and Might Guy are powerful in close combat, but lack the ability to throw shurikens or otherwise attack at range. Likewise for Naruto in his Nine-Tailed form.
  • November 14, 2012
    CleverPun
    ^^ Being based on a pre-existing term is another reason it's not a very good title to me. I like alliteration and all, but real CQC is a tactical concept, not just a specific fighting style or batch of techniques. Conflating the two is fairly misleading, especially since they don't always overlap.

    So much of your description is describing what the trope isn't, making the name as unambiguous as possible can only help
  • November 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Alright, I see your point. I'll change the title.
  • November 14, 2012
    CleverPun
    I don't think Bleach belongs in the example list--the default of the series is melee combat with swords, so "While many of the characters are capable of fighting hand-to-hand" should read "All of the characters..."

    I don't know about the marvel characters--don't Captain America and Thor throw their weapons a lot?

    I'm also not sure about the Avatar example--all the characters in that series have fighting styles, but many of them also vary their ways of fighting. Just because Suki fights bare-handed often, doesn't mean she qualifies for this trope, and she uses weapons on numerous occasions.

    I haven't seen the marvel films. The Bleach and Avatar examples I can safely recommend removing.
  • November 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Close Range means Close Range. Weapons are still a method of fighting close range. Bare Fisted Monk is when a character fights bare-handed.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zerbfixmijaz3udhvvhz0qts&trope=CloseRangeCombatant