Two-handed weapons actually swing faster in close quarters (this related to #2 above):
Because a hit registers from the hands to the end of the weapon, in close quarters, two-handed weapons swing dramatically faster.
Two people are chest to chest. One has a maul the other a short sword. Both swing at the same time. The short sword pulls his arm to the side and swings. The maul starts with two hands at the chest. Since his hands are are in the chest area, therefore, start closer to the enemy, he hits first.
I know using a different game as an example is bad form, but some Mount&Blade hit/damage mechanics are -desperately- needed here.