We even had characters with long weapons (spears and polearms) behind the sword and shield fighting types, so they could take defensive advantage of the meat wall, oops, shield wall, yeah, that's what I meant, right, where was I? oh, yeah, in front of them.
Speed factors made sense. We had each weapon tagged with two numbers: reach, and initiative penalty (speed factor). It meant that people went for thrusting weapons or short weapons, so they could work together. It got intra-party coordination working well. Losing it, well, lost a lot of the flavor of the battles.