I have always been a defensive fighter or a counter fighter. It's just my nature. I like to assess a situation, learn about my opponent, before charging in. This may be to do with the fact I have never been able to rely on muscling my way in, or imposing my will by strength and size alone.
In any case, this tendency has definitely helped me in understanding tactical thinking and its probably why I enjoy sword play more than empty hand fighting.
Dueling with swords gives you the opportunity to test, investigate, and decide how to play it. This is why it is the perfect forum in which to learn about tactics, how people move, what their triggers are and how to manage them.
The reason why is that there is this distance, this dead zone, that stands between you and your opponent. It is a dangerous space to get caught in, and the price of choosing or acting incorrectly will end the game before it has even begun. Neither party wants to enter here undefended or behind the curve on the OODA loop ... And this creates time.
The size of this dead zone is generally determined by the length and the lethality of the weapon, along with it's unwieldiness. These will dictate how much time you have, both to decide what to do, and how much time you need to cross that space and gain the advantage
So how about with a shorter weapon? The shorter the range of the weapon (note that this can be different from the actual length of the weapon itself), the shorter the dead zone. Thus the safer it is to cross. Less is at stake by crossing and closing as fast as possible, and being the one with the initiative is what you want.
Does this mean that all the tactical stuff you learned with sword goes out of the window? Maybe not.
The same danger remains once in range, and the dead zone exists on the way out as it did on the way in, it's just the geometry that is different.
Perhaps some interesting questions to ask are: How big a dead zone can you create with the shortest range weapon? And to what extent can you decrease the dead zone you need to cross to get to an opponent using a long range weapon?
And if you are caught behind the curve, how short can you make a long weapon, and how long can you make a short one?