Heavy Weapons

General Information

Gulf Wars draws fighters from Kingdoms all over the Known World.  A reasonable attempt will be made to meet visiting Kingdoms’ concerns, issues, and desire – when in doubt, however, revert to Society conventions or pull out of the combat.  Keep cool.

Rules and Regulations

  • Inspections will be required before participation in any battle, tournament, or other fighting activity at Gulf Wars.  You must have your site medallion, your authorization card, and a mundane photo ID. If you don’t have these items, you will not be allowed to participate in combat activities.
  • Only one inspection is required for the war.
  • Society minimum heavy combat armor is required for all participants.

 Fighting Conventions

1. Weapons

a. Not Allowed:

  1. Laminated pole arms
  2. Spears more than 9 feet long
  3. Pole Weapons Longer than 7 1/2 Feet long.
  4. Punch daggers, T-grips, shovel handles, offensive shield bosses, kick knives, etc.
  5. Experimental carbon fiber spears.
  6. Excessively Flexible Weapons
  7. Weapons with cutting and/or smashing surface at both ends

b. Allowed

  1. Butt spikes on pole-arms and two-handed weapons
  2. Madus and other similar double-ended thrusting weapons.
  3. Silo-flex or silo-flex-enhanced weapons.
  4. Most Society legal pole arms (except laminated)
  5. Single-handed mass weapons with “splints” or “clackers” or rattan.
  6. Hand-thrown weapons (axes, javelins) with minimum half-gauntlet hand protection when throwing the weapon.  Troops using these weapons are full contact kill.

2. Actions

a. Not Allowed:

  • Closing one’s eyes or turning one’s head to avoid engagement.
  • Killing someone on the ground – Fallen opponents must be allowed to regain a defensive position.
  • Grappling
  • Declared Kills from Behind (DFKB).
  • Death on the Ground
    • Fallen Opponents must be allowed to regain a defensive position.
  • Thrusts to the sides, top and back of helm.
    • “The helm may be presumed by Kingdom convention to include a very light chain mail drape, permitting vision and resisting cuts by the mere touch of a bladed weapon.
    • a. Under this standard, an acceptable cutting blow to the face would be lighter than to other portions of the head or body. Areas deemed illegal to strike (the wrists from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the hands, from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the knees and below) shall be considered safe from all attack.
    • b. The minimum effective thrusting blow to the face shall be a directed touch and the maximum shall be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.”

b. Allowed:

  • Society standard face thrusts
  • Directed Touch Face Thrust.
    • “The minimum effective thrusting blow to the face shall be a directed touch and the maximum shall be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.”

All melees will be fought using Society standards. Melee fighters should be trained in their home Kingdom before being allowed on the field. This provides a “generic” base from which to start. Gulf Wars, however, has some particular rules that need enumerating.  All marshals involved in combat in which projectiles are used are required to wear goggles or safety glasses.

Melee Engagement
The person you want to hit must know you are there and they must, through their actions, convey that knowledge to you before you are allowed to hit them unless you are part of a line engaged with a line. You must have one or more of the following to have legal engagement when you approach an opponent on the melee field.

The first and most obvious is to be in your opponent’s front 180 degrees. This means that you are in front of their shoulders/hips.

  • Eye Contact – Just because you do not have eye contact does not mean that you are not engaged.  Having eye contact is the best form of acknowledgment but it is not required.
  • Defensive recognition – If you come up on a fighter’s flank and say to him, “I am on the other side!” and he adopts a defensive posture towards you, he has acknowledged that you are there and that you are a threat.
  • Offensive action – If you come up on a fighter’s flank and say to him, “I am on the other side!” and he throws up a shot at you without turning to see you, he has acknowledged that you are there and that you are a threat.
  • Verbal acknowledgement – If you come up on a fighter’s flank and say to him, “I am on the other side!” and he replies with, “I can’t see you, we aren’t engaged!”, well he is wrong. This falls into the realm of avoiding eye contact to deny engagement, and is a vile, deceitful abuse of a rule put in place for safety. It is a violation of rule #6 and has no place where men and women of honor choose to fight.
  • Line engagement – Part of a wall or organized line of fighters. Any part of an entire line is engaged with the opposing entire line and they are to know that they may be struck by anyone in that line. A line is defined as two or more fighters working in concert AND in close proximity (weapon’s range) with one another. A line includes not just a single rank but the entire formation, not just the front line of shields but the glaives and pikes in the second and third ranks as well.  If two shieldmen choose to shoulder up and advance into a group of twenty, then they are at risk from any and everyone who is within weapon’s range.  In order to break an engagement all you have to do is get out of weapon’s range.  Weapon’s range means the longest point at which either one of the two of you may be struck. If one guy has a spear and the other has a dagger, then the maximum reach of the spear is weapon’s range.  If both had sword and shield, then the maximum reach of the longer of the two is weapon’s range.  If you decide to break engagement and turn to run back to you line, he can chase you around the feast hall, through the parking lot up one hill and back down the other side, as long as he is still within that weapon’s range.  He can still hit you in the back if you turned your back to him and are still in weapon’s range. The second you get outside that range, he MUST reestablish engagement. This counts in all cases. When charging a shield wall, the fighters you go past are free to hit you in the back, as long as you are close enough to hit.  You do not have to have a weapon in a melee in order to be at risk. Just because you drop you glaive or you get your spear pulled from you hands, it does not mean that they are not allowed to strike you.  You are still fair game.
  • Archers – Archers are now and have for some time been full contact.  We choose to not beat them down and simply give them a light shot out of courtesy but they are playing the same contact sport as the rest of us.  They ARE NOT called dead at close range. That being said, anyone may choose to yield and call themselves “dead.” It is not allowed to strike a combatant who has yielded.

The Fort
Archers and other missile weapons combatants in the towers may only be attacked with siege engines and missile weapons. Marshals during the fort battle must wear eye protection, gorgets (not required, but recommended), and are encouraged to wear groin protection. Some marshals, particularly outside the gate, will be in full armor. A band of yellow tape around their helmets will denote these marshals with the word “marshal” written on it. They are not to be attacked.

All armor and weapons – including combat archery gear – must be inspected before participation in any of the battles, tournaments, or any other fighting activities at Gulf Wars. Fighters must bring their site medallion, authorization card, and a form of mundane picture identification to be inspected.
Inspection stickers must be worn prominently on the helmet. NO AUTHORIZATIONS WILL BE PERFORMED AT THE WAR.
Each kingdom should supply marshals in proportion to the number of fighters present at Gulf Wars. Inspections will take place at Marshal’s Point adjacent to Hastings Field. The main inspection point will be manned continuously daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
All four Earl Marshals or their designated representatives must inspect and jointly pass all siege/unusual/experimental weapons.

Chain of Command and Appeal
The Chain of Command and Appeal is laid out below, in descending order from highest to lowest authority:

  1. Gleann Abhann King
  2. Marshal’s Court comprised of the Kings of Ansteorra, Gleann Abhann, Meridies and Trimaris (needed to overturn the Marshal-in-Charge)
  3. Marshal-in-Charge of the War
  4. Marshal’s Court comprised of the Earl Marshals of Ansteorra, Gleann Abhann, Meridies and Trimaris
  5. Presiding Marshal of the Particular Battle or Tournament
  6. Marshal on the field

Marshal’s Courts may be used to review both the decisions of marshals and the actions of combat activity participants to determine if infractions of the Rules of the Lists and the Conventions of Combat have occurred, and to impose sanctions as needed. The Presiding Marshal of a particular fighting activity or an affected individual may request that a Marshal’s Court be convened to examine the issues and determine what actions (if any) should be taken. The decision of the Marshal’s Court supersedes the decision of the lower marshallate authority (if different) according to the “Chain of Command and Appeal” given above.

Heavy Combat Scenarios

Overview: The purpose of this document is to prepare the text for the Gulf Wars site book and provide a clear set of guidelines for the battles at Gulf Wars.

Thanks to Sir Marcus of Calontir for the following cheat sheet, (I think he got it from a Sir Griffin).   Here’s the cheats:

Scenario : Town Battle

Shorthand Description : T R FS F

Physical Layout: The town battle this year will use a much larger area of Hastings field (see picture above) and the castle and require a much higher level of maneuver, command and control.  Each gold square (6 total) represents where a building will be placed.  Resurrection points are indicated by the circles.  The blue lines represent rivers, and the grey rectangles outlined in black represent the bridges across the rivers. The rivers will be 12 feet wide.  There will be enough space around the castle for two people to walk without falling in the river.

Scenario Play:The town defenders will start anywhere in the interior of the castle.  The attackers will start to the east of their resurrection point.  At the start of the scenario, the two teams will attempt to establish control of the 6 buildings.  Combatants who receiving killing blows must return to a resurrection point placed behind the starting line used at the beginning of the scenario before returning to combat.

At the center of each building will be a flag which cannot move.  If only combatant(s) from one side has their hands on a flag, that flag is considered to be “uncontested”, and controlled by the team.  If combatants from both sides have their hands on the flags, it is considered “contested”.  The scenario will run for 45 minutes, a 10 minute break, and then the two teams will switch sides and run for another 45 minutes.  There will be a short hold every 15 minutes to determine the state of each flag in each building, and for a quick water break for the combatants. The flag in the center of the castle is worth two (2) points; all other flags are worth one (1) point.

Funky Rules: In this battle, members of the Chivalry may cross the river unencumbered.  All non-members of the chivalry must cross at the bridges.  Attempting to cross the river for non-members will result in the death of the combatant, and a trip to resurrection point.  The defenders have complete control over the castle’s openings (side gate and main gate) and can control the open and close status of the gate.  The defenders must designate a gatekeeper for each gate, and only that person can specify to the marshal the open or closed status of the gate.

Victory Conditions: Victory in the town battle will be accorded to the side which accrues the most points.  Points will be given in the following manner

Uncontested Castle Building Flag Possession – 2 pts

Each uncontested Outbuilding Flag Possession – 1 pt

For the above describe play mode, there will be a maximum of  42 points ( 7 points * 6 countings)

Scenario : Castle Battle

Shorthand Description : T R J C S

Physical Layout:The winner of the Bridge Battle earlier that day will attack first. There are 4 main entries to the castle.  The Main Gate is on the north face, and has doors made from wood that can be closed to simulate the effect of a drawbridge being up. On the west face is Alexandria’s breach, which has two openings approximately 3.5’ wide separated by around 6 feet.  On the east side is Black Widow’s Breach and the New Gate.  Black Widow’s Breach is similar in layout to Alexandria’s Breach.  The ground around the outside walls is built up so that the height from the ground to the top of the wall is around 5-6 feet, and the distance from the ground to the top of the crenulation is only around 4’ feet.

Scenario Play:This scenario will be run twice, with each side playing both the role of the attackers or the defenders. Attackers will be granted THREE (3) lives which translates to Two (2) resurrections. Defenders will have no resurrections. Resurrections may not be transferred to another.  At the start of each run, the attackers will be arrayed outside the castle, with all attackers no closer to the walls than 50 feet away.  All defenders must start in the inside of the castle.  At lay on, the attackers may commence with the siege.  All gates will be considered closed at the start of the battle. Breaches other than Black Widow’s Breach will be closed at the start of the battle.

Each Battle will have a maximum time length (holds NOT included) of 40 minutes. To simulate the effects of siege, at five (5) minute intervals the castle will become weaker. The weaknesses will follow this order:

@ Start of battle -> Ramps can be used and Black Widow’s Breach is open.

@ 5 minutes after start -> Side Gate opens

@ 10 minutes after start -> Other Breach Opens

@ 15 minutes after start -> Main Gate Opens

Attackers may force the gates open early by three (3) strikes from a large siege rock or by four (4) strikes from a battering ram.

Attackers may attempt to enter through any of the four entry ways (Main, Alexandria, Black Widow, and New Gate) or through the crenellations via the use of ramps after that weakness has come into play.

Ramps are governed by the following rules:

4 people to carry

2 people to spot once the ramp is in place. Note: Spotters can be dead. Spotters are safe from being killed but they cannot use spotting as an avenue to attack.

Once in place, the ramp cannot be moved

 A ramp cannot be placed in the crenellation in a defensive fashion.

Combatants cannot be attacked while on the ramps

Archers are not allowed to shoot from the ramps.

Armored combatants are not allowed to attack while on the ramps.

There is no standing on the ramps.

Ramps may be destroyed by a single strike from a machine thrown large rock.

Ramps may be destroyed by two (2) Large Siege Rocks carried and dropped by a Boulder Crew of two (2) fighters.

On the inside of the crenellations, there will be a 3-foot-diameter semi-circular landing zone.  These zones will be marked.  The zones are governed by the following rules:

Only one fighter may be inside the zone at a time

Can’t attack the fighter inside of the zone

A combatant cannot attack from inside the zone and must leave the zone to attack defenders.

Victory Conditions: Whichever side takes the castle the fastest will be awarded the point.

If by some remote chance neither side takes the castle in 40 minutes the battle will be declared a tie, and the point will be split in half.

Scenario: Ravine Battle

Shorthand Description: T R L J C FS

Physical Layout: Generally the ravine has a long axis west to east (around 500 feet) and very short axis (around 100 feet) north and south.  A gully runs along the long axis with slopes to higher ground on the north and south sides.  There several stands of trees that are usually fought around, and often piles of debris down in the gully.  Archery can only aimed inwards, and is not supposed to be directed towards the spectators.

Scenario Play: Initially, each side occupies one portion of the ravine, with Ansteorra occupying the South portion of the ravine, and Trimaris occupying the North portion of the ravine.  Each side will have two (2) Resurrection Flags in the back of their respective corners(North or South).  The three (3) Ravine Flags will run along the East-West axis.  The middle flag will be placed in the bottom of the ravine, with the remaining two flags equidistant between the middle flag and the edge of the playing field. The battle will be one hour long.  For each flag, there is a marshal who has two time-pieces, one for Ansteorra, and one for Trimaris.  When the marshal determines that a side has control of his flag, he starts their time-piece, and it begins counting up the time.  If control is lost, he stops that time piece.  If the other side then takes control of the flag, he starts the other side’s time-piece.

Victory Conditions: At the end of 1 hour, each marshal in charge of the flag will compare the times on his timepieces.  The side that has held the flag longest, will be awarded 1 point for holding that flag. Whichever side gains 2 or more points, will win the War Point for this battle.

Scenario: Mother-of-All-Battles (MoAB)

Shorthand Description: R, L, C, T, J, F

The MoAB Battle is a progressive, timed battle that will utilize Hastings Field and the Gulf Wars Fort.


Scenario Play: (FYI, the entire Battle is a bit Funky.)
This scenario will be run twice, with each side playing both the role of the attackers or the defenders. Archery and Thrown Weapons are allowed. There are four (4) Zones during this battle – The Field, The Town, The Bridge and The Fort. Each zone will be clearly marked. The defending team must divide their forces into four (4) equal groups and stage each group as they see fit at each zone. When a Defender dies, they may fall back behind the next zone’s line and may not fight again until the zone they vacated is cleared. When the first 3 zones are cleared, the Defenders are no longer allowed to resurrect and the battle ends when the last Defender in the Fort dies.

Resurrection Flag Progression: The Attacker’s Resurrection Flag shall start on the middle of Hastings Field and progressively move forward as zones are cleared. A zone is “cleared” when the last Defender of that zone dies. Attackers will have unlimited resurrection. Attackers may not move on to another zone until the prior one is cleared.

The Field is an open field. When Defenders die they must move to the Town. A line will designate where they will go.

The Town consists of two (2) Redoubts.  Only the original group of Defenders that started in the Redoubt may be inside the redoubt. Those that die on the Field may harass the enemy and defend the redoubt from the outside, but may not enter it. The redoubt doors are always open and face the fort. Each redoubt will have one large and one smaller portal. When the last Defender inside a redoubt dies, the zone is cleared.  When you die defending any part of the Town, you may fall back to the Bridge. After both the Field and the Town are cleared, the Attacker’s Res Flag will move from the starting position to the back wall of a Town building.

The Bridge consists of one or two bridges that can range from 6-12ft wide depending on the number of fighters present.  There will also be a narrow 4-foot wide ford that only Attacking “Mounted” Chivalry may utilize. Archers may not shoot from bridge to bridge when standing on a bridge. Archery may not be used at the ford. When the Bridge is cleared, the Attacker’s Res Flag will move to the back of the Bridge.

The Fort Zone: Only Black Widow’s Breach and the Hastings Field Gate will be utilized. Initially, Black Widow’s Breach will be open and the Hastings Field Gate will be closed.  Two (2) minutes after the Bridge is cleared the Hastings Field Gate shall be opened.

Victory Conditions: Whichever side “clears” all four (4) zones the fastest wins the War Point.

Scenario: Open Field

Shorthand Description: L J C S

Physical Layout: Runs long ways, east to west. The east end of the field is substantially higher than the west end. The field is approximately 400 feet long and 200 feet wide. There are several stands of trees that are usually fought around. Archery must be aimed inwards and not toward the spectators.

Scenario Play:This battle is run five times. The first, second, and third battles are run with the opposing armies lining up on the west and east end to start. In the fourth and fifth battles, the opposing armies line up on the north and south ends of the field.

Archery is only allowed in the first and third battles.

Thrown weapons are allowed in all five battles.

Siege is allowed on the first three battles.

Victory Conditions:  Each battle is to the last man standing, and is worth 1 point. Whichever side gets at least three points, wins the War Point. Rarely do we have the chance to fight with so many on the field. Weather permitting, it is hoped that all five fights will take place regardless of the score.

Scenario: Bridge

Shorthand Description: T L J FS

Physical Layout: There will be three bridges.  The bridges will have parallel edges, and the center bridge will be 27 feet wide, while the side bridges will be 18 feet wide.  The bridges are representative of a low wall bridge and will be delineated by a line of hay bales one bale high.  There will be at 18 feet between the bridges.  The center point of the three bridges will be marked with spray paint on the hay bales and on the ground.  A line will also be marked on either side of the center line at a distance of nine feet.  The area between the nine foot lines will be referred as the glory zone.  A start line will be marked 18 feet back from the ends of the bridges.

Scenario Play: This battle will be run five times. For each battle, both sides will start behind their respective start line.  Thrown weapons and combat archery will be allowed in the first and third battles.  Combatants can fight on the wall however they like, but if they put a weight bearing limb or weapon into the water area, they are dead.  Each battle will be 15 minutes long. Time will stop for injury holds.  At the end of 15 minutes, the side that controls the entire glory zone of each bridge will be declared the victor of that bridge.  If the bridge is contested (defined as both sides having combatants within the glory zone), all combatants outside of the glory zone will be remove from play, and the combatants inside the glory zone will fight will fight till the last man standing.  In case of contention, all bridges will resolve independently and may not assist on any other bridge.  There will be 10 minute break between battles.

Victory Conditions: Each bridge controlled is worth 1 point, for a possible total of 15 points.  The first side to score 8 points wins the War Point.