Target Areas and Acknowledgement of Blows

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Judging Blows

  1. Judging the effects of blows is left to the honour of the combatant being struck by the weapon, unless they relinquish this responsibility, with the exception of clear violations of the Rules of the Lists or the Conventions of Combat.
  2. Effectiveness of a blow may not be judged by the opposing combatant, the marshal, or other observers. Information unavailable to the combatant being struck may be supplied by the opposing combatant or the marshal, including blade orientation upon impact, apparent force transmitted, or apparent location and angle of the blow's impact based upon the observer's angle of observation.

Target Area

  1. The following target areas apply to all SCA armoured combat:
    All of the body (excluding the head and arms) above the points of the hips, the groin, shoulder blades and the area between the neck and the shoulders will be considered part of the torso.
    The area between the chin and the middle of the forehead and between the ear openings.
    The whole head and neck except the face as defined above.
    The leg from 25.4mm (1 inch) above the top of the knee to a line even with the bottom of the hip socket.
    Area between the bottom of the hip socket to the point of the hip (iliac crest).
    From the point of the shoulder down to a line even with the top of the underarm.
    From the shoulder to 25.4mm (1 inch) above the wrist joint.
  2. Blows that land outside the legal target area shall not be counted unless an illegal target area has been intentionally placed in the path of an impending blow.
  3. Combatants may not intentionally strike areas outside the legal target areas. It is recognised that missile combatants may inadvertently strike outside target areas because of the nature of the weapon used.

Presumed Armour

  1. When judging the effect of blows, all combatants are presumed to be fully armoured. Subject to the conditions set out in section 6.6, special tournaments or combat may be held that redefine which areas of the body are armoured, and to what extent, so long as all the participants are made aware of the special conditions prior to the start of combat.
  2. All "fully armoured" combatants are presumed to be wearing a hauberk over a padded gambeson, with boiled leather arm and leg defences, and an open faced iron helm with a nasal. The helm is presumed to include a very light chain mail drape, permitting vision and resisting cuts by the mere touch of a bladed weapon.
    1. Areas deemed illegal for attack - the wrists from 25.4mm (1 inch) above the hands, and the legs below 25.4mm (1 inch) above the knees - shall be considered safe from all attack.
    2. A good blow from a missile is considered to puncture all presumed armour.

Effects of Blows

Figure 6.1: Kill/Wound Zones for Different Weapon Types
Illegal Target
(a) Single-handed sword kill/wound zones
(b) Single-handed mass weapon kill/wound zone
(c) Two-handed weapon kill/wound zone
(d) Siege weapon kill/wound zone
  1. Blows must be delivered with effective technique for the particular type of weapon used, and must strike properly oriented and with sufficient force, to be considered an effective, or good, blow.
  2. The effect of a blow shall be dependent on the manner in which it strikes a combatant. The effects of blows to various areas of the body are as follows:
    1. Any effective blow to head, neck or torso shall be judged fatal or totally disabling, rendering the combatant incapable of further combat. Combatants are reminded that as per 6.2, the area between the neck and point of the shoulder is considered part of the torso and blows to this area are fatal.
    2. An effective swung blow to the face shall be considered fatal and shall be lighter than to other portions of the head or body.
    3. An effective thrust to the face shall be considered fatal. Such thrusts shall be delivered as a directed touch, and at their maximum power shall be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.
    4. An effective swung blow from an axe, mace, polearm, great sword or other mass weapon which lands on the hip above the hip socket, or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket, shall be judged fatal or totally disabling.
    5. An effective swung blow from any other weapon which lands on the hip above the hip socket, or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket shall be considered to have disabled the limb.
    6. An effective thrust to the hip or shoulder is not considered fatal, only wounding, regardless of the type of weapon delivering the blow.
    7. Any effective blow to the thigh will disable the leg.
    8. Any effective blow to the arm above the wrist will disable the arm.
    9. A blow from a siege missile to any legal target area, including the limbs, will be considered fatal.
  3. If a wounded limb blocks an otherwise effective blow, that blow shall be counted as though the limb were not there.
  4. A combatant is not required to stop a combination when an opponent is wounded. Thus, if a blow to the limb of a combatant is followed immediately by a killing blow to the same combatant, the killing blow will be counted as good.
  5. A killing blow occurs instantaneously and therefore no new offensive action can be started. Blows begun prior to the killing blow may be completed. A killing blow started before receiving a killing blow is good and is known as a double kill. A blow started after receiving a killing blow should not be counted.

Effects of missile weapons

  1. A shield or pavise provides protection against all missile weapons except siege missiles such as rocks or cannon shot.
  2. A siege missile that strikes a combatant or the shield sheltering them is considered to have killed that combatant.
  3. If a siege missile strikes a pavise, the pavise shall be considered destroyed. Combatants behind the pavise are not killed. The pavise must then immediately be removed from the field or dropped flat.
  4. Hand-held weapons struck by siege-class missiles shall be considered destroyed.
  5. Small-arms munitions fired from siege engines shall be treated as combat archery projectiles.
  6. Siege missiles are considered spent upon striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure.
  7. Pre-scenario rules may stipulate any changes to the effects of missile weapons provided those changes do not contravene the rules or materially compromise the safety of the participants.
Table 6.1: Effects of Weapons on Target Areas
Target Area Single Handed Thrust Missile Two Handed Mass Weapon Siege Missile
Face Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill
Head Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill
Torso Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill
Shoulder Wound Wound Wound Kill Kill Kill
Hip Wound Wound Wound Kill Kill Kill
Arm Wound Wound Wound Wound Wound Kill
Thigh Wound Wound Wound Wound Wound Kill
Shield No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect Kill
Hand No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect
Lower leg No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect
Weapon/Shield No effect No effect No effect No effect No effect Destroyed

Acknowledgement of blows

  1. Changes to blow acknowledgement standards may be made on a per-combat, per-scenario, or per-tournament basis, but will revert to these standards thereafter.
  2. Alternate acknowledgement standards may not alter the allowed target areas, nor shall they increase the basic force level for a good blow. All combatants must be informed of any changes to standard blow acknowledgement before they participate in the combat.
  3. In a tournament, a combatant who is killed must fall down or otherwise unambiguously indicate their defeat.
  4. In war scenarios, heavy combatants will fall to the ground immediately upon being killed, and remain prone, provided it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to do so, the combatant will loudly call out "good" or "dead" to make opponents aware, and then leave the field.
  5. In war scenarios, plumed participants will loudly call out "good" or "dead", and then immediately leave the field.
  6. All "dead" archers should immediately leave the field to minimise the risk to archery equipment.
  7. When leaving the field, combatants must hold their weapons or banners over their heads in a non-threatening posture.
  8. All "dead" combatants will behave as such and shall not impart tactical information to "live" combatants.
  9. Armoured participants leaving the field must remain fully armoured until completely clear of the combat area.
  10. A combatant with a disabled leg must fight kneeling, sitting, or standing the one, uninjured, leg. If fighting from their knees, the combatant may still rise up and may still move, however a second blow to the disabled leg renders the leg useless and the combatant may no longer rise up on their knees. A combatant with two disabled legs may move, but only without rising up onto the knees, i.e. "waddling" where the combatant's bottom must remain on their heels.
  11. A disabled arm shall be considered useless to the combatant, and may not be used for either offence or defence.
  12. Arm substitution is not permitted, if a combatant's arm is struck they may not elect to lose the use of the other arm and continue using the arm which was struck. However, a combatant having taken a blow to the arm may continue to fight with their remaining uninjured arm.

Other Considerations

  1. All fighters are expected to take into account the nature of the weapon being used by their opponent and the location of the point of impact of that weapon when judging the outcome of a blow delivered. A blow that strikes with sufficient force and proper orientation shall be considered effective, regardless of what it hits prior to striking the combatant.
  2. A blow which lands after a "hold" is called need not be counted.
  3. A blow that includes the dropping of the weapon at the moment of impact need not be counted unless the force of the blow itself causes the weapon to be dropped and the blow is of sufficient force to be counted "good".