I’ve been trying to train the hunting knife, which I’m pretty sure is the shortest weapon in the game, and I’ve definitely noticed that in very close quarters, even pole weapons can be swung at least as quickly as my knife. At least in effective speed. By aiming off to the side so that the swing begins essentially in my sprite, the hit comes out pretty much instantly. EDIT: While doing full damage.
I’ve also been killed by close-quarters pokes from vanguard spears where the spear tip will be behind me, and thus impossible to parry - but I’ll still take damage anyway. That’s pretty frustrating.
Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems as though the buckler blocks more of my own vision than the heater does, despite being smaller overall. Even if that’s really the case, I don’t know if that’s intentional or not, or whether the buckler should block less vision, or the heater should block more.