I haven't been in favor of shields or melee ever but no one really uses it out here and I don't think you really need to worry about it effecting gameplay significantly. Big ammo (anything bigger than a mega), will destroy shields. People generally just get ruined who use melee and I really don't have any remorse for people bringing a sword to a gun fight. Most people will be using modern nerf stuff, but if they have incredibly weaksauce stuff, a shield can be appropriate.
So we're pretty much on the same page then. From the original post, I thought melee was a bigger deal (or becoming a bigger deal) in your area.
It looks like we're going to try and drive out over Thursday night and Friday, so we'll probably roll in late afternoon or early evening on Friday. We would need to hit the road Sunday around noon, but could possibly stay later if we're going to take shifts going back again. Could possibly have a convoy with the Sex Dwarves if we get the timing right.