Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rules for the Combat at the Barriers at 12th Night

The Proclamation of the Deed of Arms

Ending the Combat

Each combat between two champions will continue until the judges stop the fight, or a champion is unable to continue.

A champion is unable to continue if he is struck five good blows in the course of the combat, or falls or becomes disarmed, or is disabled as described below. A champion whose weapon breaks is not considered disarmed, and the fight will halt while he replaces it.

Judging Blows

Plate is proof against all thrusts except a thrust to a faceplate or plate visor, which counts as a good blow. Breastplates, coats of plate, brigandine and cuirasses are also proof against all cuts to the areas they cover. Good two handed blows to any other plate protection, and good single handed blows to a helmet count as a good blow.

Solid cuts and thrusts to areas protected only by mail count as a good blow.

Other or no protection counts any cut as a good blow.

For areas with this level of protection a thrust to the torso or limbs is disabling. Thrusts to a barred visor are disabling.

Champions should not act out wounds other than disabling. They should call out good blows struck against them loudly enough for the marshals and their opponents to hear.

Heavy hardened leather and other suitably covered rigid protection will generally count as plate, with debatable cases to be decided by the discretion of the judges. The judges will, as far as seems practical, attempt to match opponents with similar levels of protection like against like, and harness from the same period like against like.

I suggest these rules for halfswording with two-handed swords, if both parties consent.

Special Rules for the Barriers

Single handed swords are used without shields.

Blows must be struck over the barrier rather than through it, but the normal target areas apply.

He that stayeth his hand in fight on the barriers will have no prize.

The reasoning behind the rules is discussed here and here.

Attending the deed of arms

The company has not set an appearance or armor requirement for comers at their deeds of arms. Of course, we encourage you to equip yourself as befits a good man at arms, so that your appearance increases your honor and pleases the ladies.

We expect to provide two matched matched pairs of pollaxes and matched pairs of spears and of two handed swords. I don’t know if we will have a matched pair of single handed swords, and comers who wish to fight with a single handed sword should bring one. You may wish to bring other weapons in case one of the provided pair breaks, or if there are so many fighters that we wish to have two pairs fight at a time.

Once we have a sense of the number of fighters who are present and wish to fight in the deed of arms, we will select a sufficient number to join the tenans to insure that the tenans can satisfy the venans without becoming too tired to fight well or answer each challenge without delay. The venans will be everybody else. The format of the deed of arms does not require a captain for the venans.

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