Fencing:Single Combat Melee and Gunners

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  1. You can fight in single combat against one opponent, or in a melee where you fight multiple opponents.
  2. In single combat and melee, the objective is to win your fight. This could be by:
    • striking your opponent with a "fatal" blow or shot, or
    • striking your opponent with an "incapacitating" blow or shot so your opponent cannot continue to fight.
  3. Organisers might come up with other ways to win a fight, such as making any hit on your opponent ("first touch" or "first blood").
  4. If your opponent loses their weapon, you can allow them to pick their weapon up, or tell them to yield.


In a melee:

  1. You can be part of a team, or fighting against everybody else on the field.
  2. You can only attack an opponent if you are inside a 180 degree arc of their front view, as defined by the opponent's shoulders. If you are not sure that your opponent knows that you are there, you should call out to them to get their attention before you engage them.
  3. If your opponents are part of a line, you can attack anybody in that line if you are inside the 180 degree arc of their front view.
  4. You are not allowed to attack an opponent from behind. The only time this changes is if a scenario allows "killing from behind".
  5. You cannot turn your back on an opponent to gain an advantage (that is, to stop them attacking you). Fencers who intentionally turn their back on their opponent they are engaged with may be subject to sanctions.
  6. You are not allowed to run at or past an opponent to attack them.
  7. You are allowed to run from one part of the field to another. You must stop running when you are 5 metres from an opponent or group of combatants. Two-handed weapons, including spears, must be held vertically while running.
  8. You are allowed to use Cut and Thrust combat in a melee, as long as all the fencers are wearing Cut and Thrust equipment and using Cut and Thrust rules.
  9. Marshals must ensure that rubber band guns are safely discharged before calling "masks off" after a hold is called.


  1. Gunners are non-fencing combatants who are authorised to use a rubber band gun.
  2. You are able to continue shooting at opponents until:
    • you are "killed" or "incapacitated" by a shot from a rubber band gun, or
    • you are "killed" by a fencer or according to the rules for "killing from behind", or
    • you run out of ammunition (remembering that you cannot pick up used ammunition on the field).
  3. Fencers with a standard fencing authorisation may follow the rules for gunners should they choose, if they are only armed with rubber band guns. They may not use another weapon during any scenario where they are acting as gunners.
  4. If you are a fencer, to "kill" a gunner , you must:
    1. stand in front of the gunner, two sword lengths from your opponent
    2. point your weapon at the gunner
    3. call out loudly "You are dead", "You are slain" or another short, courteous phrase.
  5. If you are facing more than one gunner, you must repeat this process for each gunner.
  6. If you are behind a gunner, you can kill them by using the "killing from behind" rules, if they are allowed in this scenario.
  7. At the beginning of a scenario, the Marshal-in-Charge may, with the agreement of all gunners, state that gunners may be slain as normal (i.e., by being struck with a non-ranged weapon). This must be made clear to all participants.