ACL Roles: Runner

Intro– Quick introduction to Roles and Positions

ACL Roles: Strikers

ACL Roles: Grapplers 

ACL Roles:Punishers

Finishing the Series on Roles. Last up are Runners. Runners are the quick movers, catching people with checks and dropping them when they drop their guard. The interesting thing about this role is that, it basically cannot exist as a legitimate threat on it’s own. It almost always needs a set up man to serve an open target and as such does best as secondary role, particularly matching well with punishers. A lot of the necessary skills are the same, in particular a good melee sense, quick decisions, and understanding time to target/measure. Speed is also necessary here, while for every other role it is just helpful.

This role is easy to pick up and easy to master luckily so anyone can add it to their repertoire, though those slow centers may have some trouble. Still even they sometimes find time to move like a train and when they do, they will want to know what their doing. And while it is simple there are some real tricks to it. You might think you don’t need someone to explain how to run…and in that case I’m gonna guess you need this more than anyone else. Cause running, like any other activity has good technique and bad technique. Even out of armor this is true and in armor it’s doubly true.

To quickly cover the basics, don’t overstride, short chopping steps are actually faster than long ones and give you better control. Keep your chest up, only lean the barest amount forward, otherwise you overbalance yourself. Cardio is king, so get out and start running. Lastly running is not a linear movement and it’s not 2D. Learn to back pedal, move laterally while facing forward, and how to transition between them. My favorite running drill is simply, spring 5 yards, quick pivot without slowing and run backwards 5 yards. Do it reverse. Then do it laterally. Go back to front, front to back, side to side, front to side, front to other side, side to front, other side to front, back to side, back to other side, side to back, other side to back. Repeat that about 50 times. Great cardio, great learning generating power and learning short steps, great for learning running agility and balance.

Now for the tricky part, Running in armor. You’re center of balance is way higher so, you want to be trying to run almost vertical, because your armor is going to pull you forward. You can’t pivot or cut at high speeds. There will be too much momentum. Instead you need to make your runs more looping, your need to decelerate first before cutting, and you need to run full tilt into the rail to make a 180 pivot. In armor you’re going to be far slower and you’re acceleration is doubly slow. Going from stopped to fast will take multiple seconds, so you only need 1-2 feet of separation to dust an opponent, even if they are faster than you. Mastering running in armor is tough. I suggest you put on your helmet and your legs and do alot of agility drills and sprints. Particularly focus on stepping over obstacles at speed because that shit happens alot.

Running in armor is only half the battle though. You need to be making the right runs, on the field. I’ve broken down my strategy into a 5 point routine, each personified with a known public figure to help remember it. Its 1)Don’t Stop or Run Forest Run, 2) Run Through or OH YEAH!, 3)explosive checks or Push it! Push it Real Good 4)Run to Space then hit a big target or Take a giant step for your team 5)and Make sure it’s always from behind.

1)Don’t stop running.


Personified By Tom Hanks Ultra Runner Character

You need to Forrest Gump this shit. As noted above, going from 0 to fast(how fast is trivial) is difficult. But accelerating when already on the move is much much easier and quicker. To add to this, just moving a little bit changes the field dynamics and opens new angles and runs. If you have a good run to make, you should be making it and if you don’t, simplifying moving around should open something up. You can’t do your job if you’re still, so keep running.

So Run Forest, Run.

 2)Run though.


Personified by the god of crushing himself, Cool aid dude.

Cool aid man this shit. When you hit someone, they aint stopping you. They aren’t slowing you. They are going to disappear and if you were counting on them for support, to bad, you’re on the dirt now. Assume that anything you hit will fold like paper and you need to be still running afterwards. Far too often I see cats lay out a great hit, only to fall down immeadiately after because they were caugh by surprise that thier target went down so easily and weren’t ready to keep churning thier legs through bodies. Don’t feel like you need to brace against resistance. Cause if you hit em right, their won’t be any.


3) Explosive check.


Personified by a duo that knows how to put power in them hips and drive through, Salt And Peppa

Hitting a dude isn’t actually about the mass you hit em with, or even the velocity. Fuck that physics shit, you need to push it. When you hit, extend those arms, a half second before impact. Push it good, because this is the thing that turns a check from 50% likely to 99%. Lift up and out, driving their top half off their center line. If you can move the center of balance off, putting someone down is simple, and with out center of balance so much higher due to armor, it’s easy if you just push. Also That motion will get them moving, and I know I said fuck physics, but an object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Translated, that means if you already got them moving when you hit, all that force will transfre much easier into driving them off thier feet.

But only if you Push it. Push it Real good.

4) Run to Space, Then Hit a big target.



Personified by the myth of the moon landing

Earlier I talked about if you just keep running you’ll open something up. The best way to do this is kinda counter intuitive. You say where all the people are? Run to where they aren’t. I know I know, this makes no sense. Running away in a fight, how does that help? Well, by moving to space that exist you do two things. One you open up a new gap where you were and two, you have now placed yourself in a position that gives you new angles on targets. You may think opening up a new gap is bad, but if the other team moves to fill it, yet again you have new places to run that will likely give you a great target. Further, if they don’t fill that gap, you’ve created space for the rest of your team to move in, allowing them to get their own new angles. By moving to that space you either give yourself a great target or create an opportunity for someone else on your team to find one. So run to space and then when you get there, go run into the biggest target you can find.

We call this taking a giant step for your team.

5)Always from behind.


Personified by the patron saint of Butt Stuff, Saint Bro Ringo. 

Never, I mean Never, come in the front. If you can’t get it from behind it ain’t even worth it. Maybe you sneak in sideways, but its got be the back or I ain’t having that. You’re gonna have to abort anything from the front, so do it quick before it gets going and you get too attached. I’m telling you, hard, fast, from behind and get it over with quick. Words of wisdom.

😉 See you in the lists baby.


3 thoughts on “ACL Roles: Runner

  1. Pingback: ACL Melee roles: Striker | Life As A Swordsman

  2. Pingback: ACL Melee Roles: Grappler | Life As A Swordsman

  3. Pingback: ACL Melee Roles: Punishers | Life As A Swordsman

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