The basic concept:
A new category of module, that would work similarly to explosive reactive armor, but against melees. Close Combat Defense Modules (CCDM) would essentially be small to medium-size armor plates, each consuming one (1) unit of power, that would detonate upon being destroyed by a melee weapon, active, passive, or boomstick-type. The detonation would do little to no damage towards the rear of the plate (ie: towards the vehicle the CCDM is mounted on), but it should do significant damage in a small radius in a cone shape outwards.
Tiers, sizes, and perks:
CCDM should have cyan, purple and gold tiers. Each tier should have a different size,. I think 2x2, 2x4, 4x4 would be ideal sizes for the tiers. Welding points should only exist on the innter surface of the CCDM. Higher-tiered CCDM should do more damage. Possible perks should include doing more damage depending on the impact speed of the enemy, or disabling the enemy’s weapons that made contact with the CCDM and survived, for a short period of time, and heating up enemy parts caught within the CCDM’s explosion radius.
Why it would be good, and balanced:
Currently, melee is a bit brainless. It is a bit like artillery was in World of Tanks, while it takes skill and good situational awareness to be a good melee player, it takes no brainpower whatsoever to be an OK one. In a one on one fight, melee builds hard-counter almost everything except hovers. CCDM, while limited by the proposed small size and severely limited by power consumption of the modules, would give the option to players to counter melees to some degree, as long as they are willing to pay the price for it.