Rules’ of the Lists for the Formal Deed of
Arms at Red Knight III
NB. There will be open lists Friday and Sunday for engaging in WMA related sport-combat. Friday will also include lessons. On Friday and Sunday, combatants and Marshals may decide on any rules mutually agreeable and safe, and use any weapons, and combatants may wear non-period safety equipment (fencing masks/That Guy helmets, etc) or padded jupons, etc. The following rules apply only to the FORMAL DEED on Saturday.
Only armoured combatants may participate in the formal lists, to be held Saturday.
· A generally homogenous half or full harness in the style of the late 14th century.
· The combatant has a haubergeon of riveted or welded maille
· A pair of steel gauntlets that cover the entire hand (except the inside, obviously) and wrist.
· A period helmet with a period visor, both of at least 16 gauge steel. Helmets with pierced visors or perforated steel mesh may be worn, however the combatant will be held to be open faced, and hits scored accordingly (see below).
· A cup or other modern groin protection
· Plate arms or similar, in period style, that must cover the entire elbow and forearm. Optional, but distinctly recommended.
· A breast plate or coat of plates or similar, in period style. Also optional, but recommended.
· Leg armour is not required. However, no participant may grapple unless wearing leg harness. Further, a fully armoured combatant may not grapple if her opponent lacks leg harness. No combatant may use the hache or poleaxe unless he or she be in full, cap a pied harness. The decisions of the marshals as to the safety and authenticity of harness are final.
· In short, you CAN fight in a mail haubergeon and padded arming coat, good helmet and good gaunts with safety pieces for groin and elbows. You will be ‘light’ and considered ‘heavily advantaged’ but you’ll STILL have fun.
· In doubt? Ask a marshal.
Combatants in incomplete harness (not cap-a-pied) will be held to HAVE AN AVANTAGE over fully armoured knights, not a disadvantage, as they have an advantage in mobility, breath and their opponent will not willingly try to strike them in unarmoured areas, as would have been expected historically.
Although weapons will be available, combatants are expected to bring their own arms.
Albion Lichtenauer, Arms and Armour longsword, Darkwood Armouries longsword or chivalric fighting sword or similar. No Feders or shaped blades with riccasso additions. Feel free to ask a Marshal.
Purpleheart armoury rubber tips, or Darkwood armoury steel tips. Or see the Marshals.
Axes: Metal poleaxes are forbidden. Axe heads will be made of rubber, such as those sold by Windrose or Purpleheart Armouries.
Rules for Combat
All combats will be of counted blows, either 3, 6, or 12.
In this deed, counted blows has the following meaning:
· Each combatant will have a set number of blows to throw. Marshals will call the number of blows thrown.
· Feints may well be held to be blows. Be aware that a provocation or feint will probably appear to the Marshal as a blow.
· Whether a blow lands or is covered or is thrown out of distance and strikes only air, the set number of blows is the number of blows.
· When a combatant’s blows are used, she must simply cover.
· No blow may be struck against any part of an opponent that is totally without protection.
· Grapples, locks, and throws. It should be sufficient to get a lock or begin a throw. Combatants should chivalrously concede when they have been out grappled and not require to be flung to the ground. However, as long as both combatants are in full harness, throws are perfectly allowed. Marshals are asked to explain actions when they stop them, for the benefit of the art and the judges. So for example “I saw Ser Gregario lock Ser Christian’s arm and I stopped the action’ helps everyone understand. A flick of Ser Christian’s sword would indicate that he acknowledges the quality of the blow (and would, also be a chivalrous thing to do)
· Any combatant who, in the opinion of the Judges or Marshals, is striking too hard or with uncontrolled blows will be asked to leave the lists. A second warning will result in the end of that combatant’s participation.
· Any blow that injures a combatant, no matter how well-intentioned, will be constituted ‘foul’ and will end that engagement with victory adjudged to the injured combatant. Please, no soccer/football acting. J
No ‘points’ will be scored at all.
Sidebar: One 16th c German convention, used in and out armour, is that there is a marshal for each side counting blows (in the unarmoured version it isn't blows, but passes that are counted), and how many of them land. At the end each marshal announce how many blows his side scored. Interestingly, in the burgher, unarmoured version the third marshal is the judge and can break a tie, in the knightly version the prevailing lord declares a victor, no matter what is announced. We may experiment with this.
After a clear engagement end (blows struck home, a combatant is thrown or out of the lists, etc) Marshals will call a halt and allow combatants to breathe. Otherwise, action is continuous.
At the end of the set number of blows, the judges will decide who they thought was ‘best’. So it is unimportant whether a blow ‘counts.’ Pommel strikes, slashes to armour, thrusts to breast plates… will all be judged in the context of the action.
Guidance for Marshals and Judges: A thrust to maille if better than a thrust to plate. A cut to maille is of little value. A cut to plate of no value at all, save if it stops an opponent’s action or affects his balance. A thrust or cut to an open visor (IE, a grill or mesh visor) is a fight ender; a similar blow to a full visor is incidental contact. A pommel strike can be incidental contact or a fight ender… you have to decide for yourself. We would prefer blows to be too light than too heavy; no fighter should ever request that his opponent hit him harder, especially when fighters are aiming blows at throat, face, and joints. No blow ever needs to ‘rock’ or ‘move’ an opponent.
Point of Confusion: In light of the "there are no points", and blows are based on those thrown not landed then why do the judges need to keep track of what is a good hit? ANSWER Because Judges and marshals and team captains who will eventually vote for who was ‘best’ need a vague but real standard on which to base opinion.
The quality of a fighter is as much in her chivalry as in his fighting. Gentle behavior is to be prized at all times. This is not lip service.
In the end, it is your judgement of the quality of the fight and the participants, and not their individual actions. It is totally possible that one beautiful move may cause you to choose a combatant who ‘scored’ fewer ‘points.’ We are asking you to judge on the quality of fighting and the art displayed and the courtesy and authenticity. This is not Olympic fencing.
Armoured Combatants will be on teams, red and green. Green, the forest team, are the Tenans or ‘home’ and red, are the ‘away’ or venans. Please note that this is, deliberately, intramural within the ‘Compagnia’ and in no way marks ‘division.’
Each Red team member will have a number, and each green team member will have a letter. Pairings will be done before the event, and aside from the opening meetings of the two captains, will be random.
In the first round, random pairings, with the Venans choosing weapons and strokes.
In the second round, random pairings, with the Tenans choosing weapons and strokes.
In the third round, the Duke/Sir Richard will declare what engagements he wishes to see, with what weapon, and how many strokes.
In the last round, Robin Hood/Steve Sandford will declare what engagements he wishes to see, with what weapon and how many strokes.
We may, depending on time and fatigue, have Sir Richard and Robin exchange, so that first one and then the other will nominate a fight.
Every combatant is guaranteed 4 fights.
If, when all rounds are fought, there are combatants desirous of other exchanges, and time allows, then pair of combatants may approach the Duke and request to perform a deed of arms.
Please note that in each case, combatants need to be ready and laced up when their combat is called. They should enter, salute, and fight, and then leave. There are many combatants and every one deserves a chance to show their prowess.
Fatigue and water and squires
To fight in the lists, each team must furnish at least four squires or pages. If team sizes increase, there MUST be 1 squire per two combatants. They must remain in attendance and will be under the guidance of a Master Squire throughout the combat.
They must come with the equipment to provide water for their knights in an authentic manner (cups and pitchers).
Every armoured combatant MUST have a stool or chair. This is not optional.
Any combatant may at any time declare that he has done enough.
Any combatant deemed dehydrated or fatigued will have been deemed to have done enough. No dishonor is intended.