We believe in padding the weapons, not the
participants. For this reason you do not have to wear any
In medieval times there were many different types of
armor: leather, ringmail, brigantine, chain mail, plate.
However, to keep Dagorhir simple, there is only one type
of armor, called mail. To count as mail, the armor must
meet the following requirements:
- It must be of an authentic style and design,
- It must be made of either iron, steel, brass, or
bronze, of a gauge no thinner than 16.
- Chainmail links must meet the size/gauge minimums
in the table below.
- The metal sections in scale, banded, splint,
ring, or similar mail must be no more than
1/2" apart, and must be securely attached to
each other or to the backing.
A gambeson of quilted padding or heavy leather does
not have to be worn under mail, but is strongly
A plate helm will stop all arrows, rocks, and thrown
javelins to the head. If you want to wear a helm for
protection, it must be constructed according to armor
Armor only protects the surface it covers. It must
weigh and look like the real thing.
All edges of plate mail must be padded. This is
accomplished by folding and securing foam over all edges.
Any corners should be rounded to at least 1/2"
radius. There may be no spikes or other protruding
objects on armor.
Armor may not be concealed. It must remain fully
visible to other players. You may wear a surcoat or
tabard over armor as long as the edges of the mail remain
Caution! Armor can be dangerous. Use caution when
grappling and climbing over dead bodies. People wearing
armor may never initiate a grapple.
Wire gauge Maximum size for links
8 or 9 3/4"
The Protection Armor Gives
- Armor will not protect you against red weapons or
a two-handed green thrust.
- A one-handed green thrust has no effect on amour.
- The first blue hit to armor has no effect.
- The second blue hit to an armored torso is death.
- It takes two blue hits to an armored limb to lose
- Arrows and thrown javelins penetrate any kind of
armor except plate helmets.
Remember - blue hits to armor are cumulative. The
second blue hit to armor counts no matter how much time
had passed since the first hit (unless the affected
warrior was healed in the meantime).
You may never "fake" death or wounds during
a battle to mislead your opponent (or any other person).
Remember, if our weapons were real, they would leave
gaping wounds and a lot of blood, so "playing
dead" would not be practical. It is imperative that
you strike your opponents as hard as possible (the
weapons are checked for safety at each battle). Hits
should be full force, not only because many people do not
realize they have been hit when they are in the middle of
a melee and their adrenaline is up, but also because in
real life a weak hit that had no force behind it wouldn't
do much damage, and our scoring is based on the maximum
damage possible received from a weapon. When you hit
someone let them know they has been hit. A good spear
thrust should drive the person backwards. Whenever you
strike an opponent from behind, simultaneously call out
the color of your weapon so that s/he will know how to
When you lose an arm drop anything that is in that
hand and put the arm behind your back. Note: If the arm
was hacked off, any other strike to the same arm counts
as a torso hit, because in real life the arm would not be
there to intercept the blow, arrow, etc..
If you lose a leg, you must kneel on the knee of the
leg you have just lost. To move from place to place you
must either crawl, dragging the injured leg, or have
comrades carry you. Hopping around on the good leg is not
allowed. However, you may make a lunge off the good leg
towards an opponent. Any strike to a leg that has already
been lost does not count. You may not kneel if you have
not lost your leg(s).
If a blow strikes a sheathed weapon (i.e., one that is
hanging from your belt or over your back), the attack is
considered to have hit you anyway. A weapon must be in
your hand to intercept an attack.
Smashing, hacking, and thrusting to an off limits area
(the head and neck) is not allowed. Overhead swings are
more likely to hit the head, and thus should be avoided.
You should notify your team's Valhalla herald if you
believe someone is intentionally striking you in an off
limits area. Ask the name of the person Ò they are
required to answer. People who are frequently reported
for such violations will be penalized. The only things
that count as death when they hit an off-limits area are
arrows, rocks, and thrown javelins. Rocks count as a
death only when they hit the head, not the neck.
As part of the acting, moan and cry out when you are
wounded. Sometimes a situation will arise that the rules
don't cover, and you will have to judge for yourself;
think of what would have happened in real life. If a
disagreement does arise, both players must raise their
weapons over their heads (this is a signal that no strike
shall count). They should either settle it themselves or
call for a herald. Once the herald has made a decision,
there is to be no argument. Continue when the herald says
to do so.
Strikes to the groin on males or to the breast on
females should be avoided if there is another area open,
even though technically they are legal.
Return to Table of
A safe weapon is one that will not leave bruises,
break bones or noses, or knock out teeth when an
unarmored person is struck with a full-strength baseball
bat style swing. If a weapon hurts at all when someone is
struck with it, it is not safe.
All weapons are subject to rejection for ANY safety or
construction discrepancies at the discretion of the
weapons check committee at check-in. Further, all weapons
are subject to removal from the field of battle if they
should prove unsafe for any reason during the battle. NO
EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR WEAPONS WHICH ARE NOT FULLY
SAFE AT ALL TIMES. Bear this in mind and bring spare
weapons or weapon construction materials with you to
check-in in case your weapon does not pass. All weapons
and shields will be checked every battle.
The entire surface of the weapon must be padded with
foam rubber (except where it is held) including the butt
end of the weapon, or pommel. If a cross guard or
quillions are added, they must also be padded to meet
Dagorhir safety requirements.
Only duct tape, electricians tape, strapping tape or
glue (i.e. rubber or contact cement) may be used in
weapon construction. No masking or cellophane tape.
All hacking and smashing weapons must have cloth
coverings on all striking surfaces.
Hafts on axes, morning stars, maces and the like must
be padded as safely as a swordblade except for a
reasonable area for a handhold. This is to prevent injury
if someone is struck with the haft, rather than the head
of the weapon.
Weapons made with a 'blade' shape (i.e. swords or axes
made to resemble actual weapons more closely) must have
the 'flat' of the blade padded safely as well as the
edges. This includes 'single-edged' weapons such as
sabers and cutlasses. NOTE: It takes a good deal of
practice to make a safe insulite sword, and the people
who make them have generally been at it a long time.
All red or blue weapons, with the exception of pole
arms, must weigh a minimum of 1/2 oz. per inch of overall
length, from the tip to the pommel. A weapon which is
made too light is often not felt in combat, and therefore
causes problems. Javelins may weigh no more than one and
one half pounds (24 oz.). If a sword is pommel-weighted,
the balance point must be at least two inches above the
If you wish to use a weapon type which is not covered
in this handbook, you must present written documentation
of the weapon's existence, how it was used, and what time
period it came from to the weapons check committee at
check-in. All new weapons must still pass weapons
inspection every battle.
The best way to make safe weapons for Dagorhir is
through 'progressive resistance'. This means making the
weapons in layers, each one more resistant than the one
outside it. In some cases, only two layers are needed, in
others, more. Some successful weapon designs use the
reverse of this technique, using a very firm foam for the
outermost layer, with softer foam underneath.
Use a good firm foam rubber to pad the weapons with.
Don't use the soft squishy kind. Look in the Yellow Pages
under the Rubber 'Foam and Sponge' heading, and buy it
from a wholesaler; they are cheaper than retailers. Foam
is best cut with a new single-edge razor blade, or
small-toothed hack-saw. Another remarkably efficient tool
is an electric kitchen knife.
Weapon cores may be made out of a variety of
materials; fiberglass rods, PVC tubing, bamboo and rattan
are all good core materials. Metal rods or tubing of any
sort, baseball bats, and axe handles are all strictly
unsafe and weapons made with these materials will not be
allowed. Thinner and lighter cores are easier to pad
safely, but will also be more likely to break. Also,
weapons with small, flexible cores have a tendency to
wrap around and "snap" at the tip, making them
If you are using a PVC core and wish to mount
quillions, weights, or other fixtures, avoid drilling any
holes in the PVC. The holes will weaken the pipe, and it
will eventually break.
Once you have selected a core, it is best to pad the
tip and quillions (if any) first. Even if the weapon is
not intended to be used for thrusting, it is easier to
pad the tip first, rather than after the blade is
finished. This will also protect the outer layers of foam
from the core.
In order to make a safe thrusting tip, see the section
on arrow construction. This is the easiest, safest way to
make a thrusting tip. Tips will have to be made larger
for spears, swords, etc., but the principle is exactly
It is best to make the innermost layer of any blade
out of either closed-cell foam (such as insulite or pipe
insulation) or a very dense open-cell foam, preferably
the 4 lb. type. Do not use the type of pipe insulation
which looks like styrofoam; it does not provide enough
padding to be safe. Secure this layer to the core all the
way from the tip to the handle in such a way so that it
will not twist, using either tape or glue. If you are
using tube-shaped pieces, it is a good idea to split the
If you are making a large weapon, it is a good idea to
add another layer of this very dense foam before going to
the softer kind.
Once the inner layers and the tip are finished, use
layers of firm foam, compacted as little as possible,
until the weapon is fully safe all the way around,
without any dangerous areas. It is a good idea to make
these layers out of thick foam (at least two inches) so
that less glue or tape is needed to secure them.
Remember that duct tape, even when cloth covered,
tends to slap, and weapons with too much tape on them may
not be safe.
Nerf soccer or basketballs are the best things for the
heads on morning stars. Morning star handles must be well
padded at the top (where the "chain", joins the
handle) as well as at the bottom. The handle of a morning
star must be at least half of the total length. The
"chain", regardless of whether it is made of
rope or cloth, must have foam wrapped around it in
sections and taped. No part of the "chain" may
be exposed at any time. To make a morning star, first
secure the chain to the handle by drilling a hole in the
handle, passing the chain through, and tying it securely.
Fasten the chain to the ball by making a bag of cloth or
net, placing the ball in the bag, and tying the chain
securely to the bottom of the bag. Pad the pommel and
handle the way you would pad those on an axe.
Using these guidelines (with some variations) you
should be able to produce safe, usable and good-looking
weapons. It is still a good idea to look at the way other
people make their weapons before making your own.
Archery is probably the most hazardous area of
Dagorhir combat. In order to keep the game as safe as
possible, the rules on archery combat and arrow
construction must be followed carefully.
The construction of arrows must follow precisely the
steps listed below. Arrows which do not precisely follow
these steps will not be allowed to be used at any
- Mended arrows may not be used.
- All arrows must have at least two full fletchings
- Only duct or strapping tape may be used in arrow
- All non-aluminum arrows must have their shafts
wrapped in tape.
- All arrows must be marked on the tip with an
insignia that is registered at check-in.
- No closed-cell foam may be used in arrow
- There must be no tape covering the outer layer of
foam at the tip of the arrow.
- The head of the arrow must not be able to be
moved from side to side.
- The "head" of each arrow must be large
(bigger than most doorknobs) to be safe. The size
of the head will be tested with a gauge: If the
arrow can pass through a 2.5" diameter hole
without excessive force, it will judged unsafe.
- The quality of the arrows you buy is up to you.
The cheap wooden kind do not fly as well and tend
to break more easily, but are less expensive than
aluminum or fiberglass arrows.
Making the arrows:
- . Remove the metal tip.
- . Roll duct tape around the end of the shaft
until the shaft is at least the diameter of a
- . Place a penny on top and secure it well with
duct tape. Use several layers.
- . Place a block of foam 3 inches square on top
and compact it firmly. Make sure that this foam
is not compacted so tightly that it looses all of
its cushioning effect.
- . Lastly, fold a 2.5x2.5x8 inch piece of foam
loosely over the top, taping the sides tightly,
but not the top. Make certain that the head
cannot be moved from side to side.
These construction rules are final. No
deviations will be tolerated. Anyone who is constructing
arrows for Dagorhir for the first time is advised to
speak to veterans who have made arrows before in order to
make construction safer and easier.
All shields must be padded as safely as any other
Dagorhir weapon; be certain that your shield cannot
injure yourself or other players.
All shields must be covered with a layer of foam that
is at least 2" thick (the heavier the shield is, the
thicker the foam should be). Cover the foam with canvas.
The height of your shield should not exceed the distance
from your ankles to your shoulders.
No circular shield can have a diameter exceeding 3
All shields must have a minimum of an 18" height
All shields must have closed cell foam folded over the
edges. We suggest insulite or pipe insulation, attached
directly to the core of the shield.
Spikes must extend at least 4" above the face of
the shield and should be made of dense or compacted foam.
Nerf footballs work well.
Any shield with a surface area bigger than a saucer
sled must be made of 3/8" plywood at the minimum.
A light, durable shield can be made from an aluminum
saucer sled. Punch holes in it and string some rope
through to form an arm strap and hand grip. Put some foam
on to pad your arm. Tape or glue closed cell foam around
the rim of the sled. From a large sheet on foam, cut out
a piece of foam which has a diameter ten inches larger
than the sled so you can fold the foam over the edge of
Cut out a piece of canvas at least one foot larger
than the sled. Fold the edges and sew it, and work some
rope through the newly formed hem. Put the sled, foam,
and cover together and pull the rope tight, drawing the
foam over the sled's edges. If you have extra rope, make
a strap so you can wear the shield on your back. Paint a
design on it (maybe your character's symbol).
Return to Table of
The instant that you are "killed", you must
scream in mortal agony and collapse lifelessly to the
ground. The more real it looks and sounds, the better. If
people ask whether you are okay, you've done it right.
You shouldn't have to scream at your opponent "Okay,
I'm dead, quit hitting me," as it ought to be
obvious that you have died. Heralds will give bonus
points for really good deaths.
While you are dead, you are dead. Lie flat on the
ground -- in a dramatic pose, if possible -- and move as
little as possible. Do not sit up and gawk at those still
battling (we are simulating combat, so the dead people
should look dead, for the benefit of any observers). If
you fear you might be stepped on, curl up into a ball. If
there are so many dead that no combat can take place
without stepping on them, the living should either drag
the dead out of the way or pile them up.
At no time may the dead speak to the living; they will
be penalized for doing so. They may talk to each other,
but only when the living are not around (keep it to low
tones). Those who strike the dead will be penalized.
Once you are down and the battle has moved well away
from your area (out of sight) tie your white head band
around your head and go to Valhalla. The white headband
shows other players that you are dead, and must be kept
on until you are brought back to life.
In field battles the dead have the option of either
lying there or, once the battle has left their immediate
vicinity, running off the field with their weapon held
over their heads and then watching from the sidelines.
The white headband is not necessary.
If you are actually injured (i.e., if you get a bloody
nose or lip, or are stunned) people need not strike you
with a weapon to kill you. They may finish you off with a
simple touch of the hand. There have been cases of people
who were momentarily injured falling to the ground, thus
causing everyone else to think them dead. Once they felt
better they stood up and fought again. If your enemies
think you are dead and therefore ignore you, you must let
them know you are alive before you may attack them. A
curse, such as "Dog, I'm alive!" is a good
When all the living are gone and only the wounded and
dead remain, the dead may get up, collect their weapons
and go to Valhalla. If a siege at a fort has been going
on for more than 20 minutes, the Herald may call a
momentary cease fire to let the dead leave for Valhalla.
During a cease fire, the living and wounded must freeze.
Under no circumstances may players other than Heralds
call a "freeze" or "hold," unless
there is an injury or other emergency. However, if both
armies agree, the commanders may call a temporary truce
and carry the bodies out of the battle area. This is a
much "classier" way to get the bodies out of
the way, as it encourages characterization and honor.
When a freeze has been called by a herald, the living
must immediately stop whatever they are doing and stand
still with their eyes down. They may not move or speak
until the Herald gives the order to resume.
When you arrive at Valhalla, go to your Herald, get in
line, wait your turn, then tell your Herald your battle
name. The Herald will record the time. You are released
from Valhalla either ten or fifteen minutes from this
time, depending on the scenario. Once in Valhalla, you
may not leave until the heralds tell you to go, although
permission will be granted "when nature calls."
The living may only enter Valhalla to report a foul, and
then leave quickly. You are generally allowed three
reincarnations. The fourth time you die you should go to
Valhalla and stay there. (Most people leave their food
and drink at Valhalla, and so are often pleased by the
chance for a rest). When the Herald tells you that your
time is up, you may leave Valhalla. Once you are out of
Valhalla, you must remove your white headband and
"return to life." If you wish, you may keep
your headband on until you are out of sight of Valhalla,
but to do so you must move in the direction of your own
In a field battle there is no Valhalla. The dead come
back to life after every scrimmage.
Healers The function of Healers is to heal the wounded
and mend broken weapons. The Healers are chosen by the
team commanders at the start of each battle and cannot be
changed during that battle. There is usually one Healer
for every 20 people on the team. When a Healer dies and
goes to Valhalla, s/he may remove 5 minutes from her/his
time in Valhalla. Anyone may become a healer. Usually,
volunteers are called for after the teams have been
chosen, before the beginning of the battle. Some people,
due to the nature of their characters, choose to be
professional healers, volunteering for this duty whenever
The Healer cannot heal her/himself. To heal another
person, the Healer must be in direct physical contact
with the injured person and may not be under direct
attack. A Poem of Healing must then be recited or read
aloud. When this is finished, the wounded person is whole
and may resume the battle. If the Healer or injured
person is attacked or distracted, or contact is broken
for any reason, the entire Poem of Healing must be read
or recited again.
If you have lost a leg and are way out in the boonies
and alone, you can wait for someone to come by and send
them for help, crawl to where you think you can find
help, or commit suicide. If you have both legs stabbed,
or pierced with arrows, you cannot even crawl anywhere.
You can only drag yourself with your arms. It might be
advisable to kill yourself, if your character's
personality permits doing so, so that you can go directly
Here is a sample Dagorhir Healing Poem. Copies of it
will be made available to healers at each battle, if they
do not provide their own.
Child of Valor, Bairn of Battle at my feet you lie,
Runes to trace and Spells to cast as fallen comrades die.
Armor rent and mail torn by weapons caked in gore,
Those who fight like snarling wolves and razor-tusked
Cloven helm and severed limb the battle axe has hewn,
Bodies sprouting feathered shafts about the field are
Carrion fowl and battle raven circle over head,
With taloned claws and beaks to pick on bones of warrior
Child of Valor Bairn of Battle harm has come your way,
Blood of Bravery be renewed to fight another day.
Sword of Arthur, Hammer of Thor, Silver shield and spear,
Rise and wield your weapon now against the Danger near.
Fang of Cobra, Bite of Spider, Heat of Dragon Flame,
Warrior unto the gods rise, and back from whence yea
If you wish to write your own Healing Poem, it must be
no fewer than 180 syllables long, and should refer to
healing. (A drinking song is not quite appropriate).
Poems will be approved at check-in.
Return to Table of
Rule one of the game: the Herald's word is law. What
is a Herald? The Herald is the Dagorhir equivalent to a
referee. The Herald will interpret and enforce the rules
if asked or if there is a dispute. Also, in some battles,
the Heralds have special functions such as time keeper or
flag bearer. If you wish to become a Herald, see the
check-in committee during check-in. You must have fought
in at least two previous battles to be a Herald.
Heralds must sign a release and go through check-in,
but need not pay the battle fee. Heralds are
distinguished from other players by their gold headband
and/or gold tunics. If there are not enough volunteer
Heralds, they will be drafted. Heralds are also
responsible for making sure the area is policed and all
players are accounted for.
There is usually one roving Herald assigned to each
team. That person's job is to stay with the action, keep
the game flowing, enforce the rules, settle disputes, and
report penalties or give bonus points when deserved.
There are usually 2-4 Heralds monitoring the battle in
addition to those at Valhalla.
Each team should have a Valhalla Herald. S/he must
stay at Valhalla, but otherwise do everything a roving
Herald does, as well as penalizing those who arrive
without headbands. If someone has lost his or her
headband, s/he must either purchase one from the Herald
or stay in Valhalla till the game is over. The Heralds
must also keep the living out of Valhalla and the dead
in, and prevent conversation between the dead and the
At Flag Battles, each team will have a flag Herald.
Flag Heralds must be athletic enough to keep up with the
flag wherever it goes. They must never leave the flag.
They must do everything a roving Herald does, as well as
counseling her/his team in its choice of a site to plant
the flag. S/he must make sure it is not a hazardous area
(such as a cliff area with many large rocks). In addition
the flag Herald must do the following:
Make sure that there is a six-foot cleared area (no
trees or brush) around the flag. See to it that no living
trees or bushes are harmed in fortifying the area around
the flag. Make sure that the flag is always returned to
the original position. At the beginning of the battle,
the Heralds makes sure that all team members are
assembled around the flag. S/he keeps notes on everything
that happens to the flag and the time at which it
happens. (For example: Blue team captures Red flag at
2:10, Red team re-takes its flag at 2:15, Red team
returns flag to its camp at 2:20). Flag Heralds must see
that the flags are returned to Valhalla.
When walkie talkies are in use, they must never leave
the Herald's possession. They should always be turned on
and switched to the appropriate channel. They are used to
keep in contact with the other Heralds, so that the
Heralds always have a clear idea of what is happening.
Types of Battles
Dagorhir battles generally fall into 2 categories -
field battles and woods battles. Field battles are fought
in open or very lightly wooded areas that are relatively
small. Woods battles are held in larger (up to one square
mile), more densely wooded areas that often include
streams, hills, and swamps. Dagorhir tends to hold woods
battles more often. Field battles are usually held in the
hot summer months, when the woods are overgrown with
thorn bushes and poison ivy.
A woods battle is most often a capture the flag type
battle. After the teams have been selected, both teams
will be led to Valhalla, where the times for the battle's
start and end are announced (about a four hour span).
Each team heads off in its own direction to look for a
strategic place to plant its flag. Once a site is chosen,
the area around the flag is fortified by lashing fallen
trees and logs together, then piling up brush on top.
(Rope is very useful. Your teammates will bless you for
bringing it). No living plants may be harmed. At the
start of the game the entire team must be assembled
around the flag. Wise commanders will by this point know
what strategies and tactics they plan to use.
The goal is to find the enemy flag, capture it and
return it to your camp, where you must plant it next to
your own. Then your army must defend both flags from the
enemy, who are sure to be in hot pursuit. If you return
to your camp with the enemy's flag and find that your own
flag is gone, you should quickly plant the enemy's flag
where yours was and then try to recapture your own.
Your team gets one point for every time one of the
enemy is killed, and one point for every minute that both
flags are planted side by side in your camp.
Whenever a flag is voluntarily touched by someone,
that person's team has only 15 minutes to get it back to
the team's camp. The team loses five points for every
minute that it exceeds the 15 minute grace period.
Note: The flags must always be on their poles. If you
get to camp with only half a flag (either the pole or the
banner is missing), your team will begin losing points
unless the other half of the flag is found and reattached
before the 15 minute grace period is up.
These battles are just like flag battles, with the
addition of gold. At check-in each warrior is given one
gold piece (a metal washer or some other small metal
disk) to place in his/her pouch or to hang around her/his
neck. The goal is not only to remain in possession of the
two flags, but also to end the battle with as much gold
as possible. Gold can be collected through murder,
extortion, robbery, or persuasion. You may collect as
much gold as you want, but keep in mind that you may not
conceal its presence from someone who is looting your
dead body. It may not be hidden, buried, etc., although
you may give it away to your teammates, so long as you
keep one piece; warriors may not give away their last
gold piece for the purpose of safeguarding it. Killing
may not be necessary to collect an enemy's gold; you can
always threaten to kill them if they do not give up all
their gold (you may give your last gold piece to an
enemy, if you are dead or under threat of death). Nor
does killing an opponent automatically give you the right
to his/her gold; if someone takes it before you, you may
have to kill that person to get it back. If dead people
are inside a fort, and the Herald calls a cease fire to
send the dead to Valhalla, and you haven't had a chance
to get the gold off of the dead, TOO BAD! You may not
search spirits going to Valhalla.
Capture The Unit Flags Battle
This is a variation of the normal flag battle. The
difference is that every unit is a team and has its own
flag (a unit banner). In other words, instead of two
teams and two flags, there could be nine teams and nine
flags. Each unit must supply its own flag Herald, who
must stay with the flag, as in a standard flag battle.
However, because the flag Herald is allowed to fight in
these battles, s/he does not act as a referee. S/he only
records times of possession. Rather than going to
Valhalla when s/he is killed, s/he resumes the job of a
normal flag Herald for 15 minutes. Then s/he can fight
Also, in this version, the flag does not have to be
planted at a team camp. It merely has to be in a team's
possession (held by a unit member) which means that the
flag can be mobile. A team may also capture as many flags
as it wants; if a team has three flags as well as its own
in its possession, it gains three points per minute.
Field battles last about four hours. The fighting is
nonstop, one scenario after another. The dead come back
to life at the beginning of each new scenario. Here are
some examples of the various kinds of battles, (some
variations of which are also used in woods battles):
Battle between two or more opposing teams until there
is only one team left alive. This could mean that only
one member of that team survives.
Kill the King
Each team has a designated king or queen (who does not
have to be the commander). The object is to kill the
other team's monarch before they kill yours. The monarchs
are immune to missile weapons. This is usually a two team
battle, but can involve more.
Save the King
This is really two battles in one and is timed. The
object is to save your monarch from being killed. The
team whose monarch lives the longest is the victor.
The two teams stand facing each other with a shield
wall in front of each team. The Herald calls for
different types of combat in the following order:
- Missile weapons only.
- Retrieval of missile weapons by owners.
- Honor challenges (eye contact honor battles).
- Red berserkers (red weapons attack each other and
the shieldwall, trying to cleave shields).
- Grand Melee.
Note: The shield wall cannot 'travel'; one foot must
stay planted until the Grand Melee. Warriors standing
behind the wall may not advance to the center unless they
are competing in the specific battle of the moment.
There are two type of field flag battles. In one, the
flag is placed in the center of the field and two teams
race to capture and hold the flag. The team with the flag
at the end of the grand melee wins. In the second, each
team has a flag and fights to defend its flag and capture
the other one(s).
Each team has part of their team stand (on horseback)
and everyone else kneels (footmen). When a horseman loses
one or more legs, he becomes a footman. The first lost
leg counts as the horse's death, so the limb is still
there for battle purposes. Leg armor counts as barding,
so a knight would actually take four hits to a leg before
The two teams form up into columns. The teams march
toward each other. The columns cannot move to the side or
flank, but only march straight ahead. The teams march
towards each other until the pile of dead is too high to
Each unit fights as a team in a grand melee.
A grand melee in which teams are selected on the basis
of character races or nationalities.
Shield vs. Non-shield
All shieldmen form a circle and all other warriors
All warriors form a circle and challenges are called
for honor battles in the center.
Every fighter for his/her self until only one is left
The same as the previous one, but all combat is
honor-bound; eye contact must be made before a fight is
Occasionally, one unit may fight as nomads. They have
no alliance to any team and have no interest at all in
the flags, if such exist (they are not allowed to touch
them). All they do is kill.
Return to Table of
Musicians, Campouts and Feasts
After reading this lengthy handbook on the rules of
our wargames, one might think that battling is all we do.
Please read on. We also have overnight campouts, meadhall
parties and feasts. We try to announce where and when
medieval films are being shown. When we have a feast, you
will have to pay in advance so that we will know just how
much food and drink to buy, and have money to do it with,
but the price is always reasonable. If you can't afford
to pay, well, volunteer cooks are often welcome. Please
note that full costume is required at all events.
We always welcome musicians to all activities (if they
have their instruments) with open arms. They are the only
people who may come to woods battles without paying,
fighting or heralding (as long as they keep playing).
We are a non-profit organization. All of the money we
collect goes into the group: paying phone bills, buying
marking tape, accessories, advertisements in magazines
and newspapers, etc. All of the receipts are kept and the
treasury book is open to anyone for inspection.
Know The Rules
Because of the length of this handbook and the many
rules and regulations it contains, it is hard to absorb
it all in one reading. We highly encourage, in fact we
insist that you read it more than once, especially before
battles. On your way to a battle, it is a good idea to
have one of the people in your car go through the
handbook quizzing the others on the rules. You'll be
surprised at the number of little things you may have
forgotten. A good, clear understanding of the rules is
vital to the smooth functioning of the game, and to
guarantee a good time for all.
Some branches require their members to take a written
quiz on these rules at the member's third battle.
Return to Table of