This page lists combat conventions which every Ansteorran rapier fighter will be required to follow in any melee activities at Gulf War. This is NOT a full list of rules for rapier fighting, nor even the rules for melee; I assume you already know those or will get them from Ansteorra's home page (http://www.ansteorra.org). What this page IS is a list of special rules only for Gulf War and further explanations and clarifications of our regular rapier rules as relates to the Gulf War melees. If you have any questions you may e-mail me at email@example.com. I will update this page as new information becomes available.
Caution: keep in mind that some of these conventions only apply to Ansteorrans. Why? Because we expect Ansteorrans to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct on the field. As I go I will try to explain the rules others will be following, but overall you should expect others to follow the minimum requirements in the corporate rapier rules. Don't get angry because someone from the other team is not as cautious as we are required to be -- that person is just following the rules and conventions THEY have been taught. If you do see actual violations of the corporate rules, you are within your rights to discuss it with that person or bring it to the marshals.
The following items were posted January 29, 2001
Ansteorrans: If you have an issue with someone you should:
If possible, simply continue with the melee and then discuss the matter with them privately after the melee.
Do not accuse. Be civil. Make your point, but remember that the other guy probably does not know he did anything wrong. He will probably try to explain his point of view or apologize once you tell him. Remember that, when all the facts are known, it may be YOU who is in the wrong. Don't be the person who give Ansteorrans a reputation as jerks on the field.
Go to the marshals only if you cannot resolve the problem with the individual, or if you see a general problem that the marshals need to warn everyone to avoid.
If you find yourself really mad during the combat for any reason, take yourself off the field, get a drink and cool down before you take any action.
Everyone: Be aware of the boundaries of the field. If a marshal is nearby he will call Edge of the World as you get close to the boundary, BUT it is YOUR responsibility to be aware of that edge. If you go off the field, you will need to go to Ansteorra's "base" (usually far from the action) to re-enter the action. If only half of your unit goes out of bounds, only those individuals going out of bounds will be sent back to "base". This convention will apply to ALL combatants, not just Ansteorrans but if Ansteorrans catch an Ansteorran fighter trying to use this rule to gain a tactical advantage (or to avoid a bad tactical situation, etc.) that fighter will be removed from the battle.
Ansteorrans: If a marshal asks you to leave the field for any reason, go. Do not argue. If you are right and the marshal is a jerk, you can bring your issue to the head marshals after the melee.
Ansteorrans: If your arm is wounded, do not drop your weapon. Instead, hold it down by your side. We do not want discarded weapons to become a hazard. It has also been determined that holding your weapon behind you is unsafe, so keep that weapon by your side. We hope non-Ansteorrans will follow this convention as well, but we do not know, so you may still need to watch for dropped weapons on the field.
Everyone: If you are killed, hold your weapons over your head and leave the field as soon as you can safely exit without disrupting the action.
Ansteorrans: If your leg is wounded, sit in place and do not move. Do not scoot over to where the action is.
Everyone: There will be NO killing from behind.
Everyone: The RULE says that you are engaged with anyone if you are in front of them. That means anywhere in the 180 degree arc in front of them, even if they do not know you are there. Expect the other team to exploit that. Do not get angry when they hit you from an angle where you did not see them, so long as they are in that 180 degree frontal arc.
Ansteorrans: We must comply with a higher standard. We will not strike an opponent unless we are within a 120 degree frontal arc (see the diagram below). Basically, that means you need to be able to see both their eyes (or where their eyes would be if you cannot see through their mask). This puts you within most people's peripheral vision and gives them a reasonable chance to notice you. You do not need to make eye contact and they do not need to acknowledge your presence, so ignoring an opponent is not a defense.
Everyone: If you are engaged with an opponent and he turns away, you are still engaged until he is outside your range (i.e. how far you can strike him with a lunge). Thus simply turning away from an opponent is not a defense.
Everyone: If you approach from behind an opponent you are not allowed to strike him, but you can distract him, try to get him to turn around, or bind his blades down. If you bind those blades, do not use a heavy chop as you could strike a wrist by accident and cause an injury.
Everyone: If you are in a line and your line is engaged with another line, EVERYONE in your line is assumed to be engaged with EVERYONE in the other line. That means any of your people can strike any of theirs, even if they are looking away and, of course, any of them can strike you.
Ansteorrans: If you flank an enemy unit and one of the enemy turns to meet your attack, you may attack him. However, once he is dead, you must consider if you are in that 120 degree frontal arc before you can strike the next enemy fighter. Of course, you CAN distract him, get him to turn to face you or move into the 120 degree arc.
Ansteorrans: We shall not point stalk our opponents. Point stalking is coming up on an enemy who does not know you are there, placing your point a few inches from them and then striking as they turn to face you. In general, do not throw a blow as your opponent first turns to face you unless you were already in that 120 degree frontal arc before they started to turn.
Do not expect local HOLDs to be called. We will use only general holds except for a few special safety related situations.
If you hear a call of HOLD, stop fighting immediately, start shouting HOLD until everyone has stopped fighting, point your weapons away from any other person and go to one knee.
DO NOT talk to your teammates or discuss strategy during the HOLD. Go into marshal mode and start visually inspecting your weapons and the gear of those around you. Last year we encouraged people to introduce themselves to their opponents but I don't know if the marshals will be comfortable with that this year or not (I'll update this as soon as I know).
DO NOT move around or change your facing during a HOLD. You can look around, but remember that a HOLD is for safety reasons, not for one side to gain a tactical advantage.
When it is time for the battle to resume, the marshals will tell everyone to rise. When everyone is on their feet, the marshals will call LAY ON for the battle to resume.
Ansteorrans: If you are killed, you should call out that you are dead (e.g. "Doré's Dead!). After that, shut up and leave the field. Do not offer your team any advice and do not shout out warnings.
Rapiers allowed include epees and foils. In general, epees are probably the better choice as foil blows can be hard to notice in the heat of a melee.
All standard Ansteorran secondaries will be allowed. That generally includes daggers, shields, cloaks, rapiers, shields/bucklers and long skinny things like rapier scabbards. Be SURE your secondary is legal before you go.
Small shields -- like very large bucklers -- will be allowed at Gulf War this year. These can be as large as 24 inches in diameter (or the same square inches as a 24" circle, with no dimension over 4 feet) and we expect Trimaris to bring out a shield wall of 24" round shields. These are LEGAL so don't get upset about it. Instead, come to our melee practices and learn to fight against them.
No missile weapons will be allowed in the war points melees.
Everyone: You can distinguish your teammates from the enemy by the color tape on the front of their mask or helm. Everyone should be wearing a piece (maybe 2" square) of tape before the battle begins. The tape must stay on the front of your mask or helm in plain sight at all times. DO not remove the tape of switch colors to try to fool the enemy.
Everyone: Be careful who you stab. If you stab someone who turns out to be a teammate, he is still dead. Friendly fire counts.
This may sound simple, but be sure you know the victory conditions before the battle begins. Also, know what your unit is expected to do. Commanders, be sure to let your unit know exactly what they must do so they can carry on if you are killed.