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  • EnGarde Basic Combat Rules

  • Ammign71

    2020-05-15 at 17:10

    The most important rule – Hold: If you hear someone yell the word “Hold”, immediately stop whatever you are doing, freeze in place and also yell “Hold”. This “Hold” call should travel throughout the players until all stop. Wait for a marshal or the person who called the hold to call “3… 2… 1… Lay-On”, then continue fighting. If the players are spread out, you may want to join in on the countdown so everyone knows when to restart. A “Hold” may be called for any number of reasons – assume it is that you are about to do something bad, like step on someone’s glasses or hit someone with an unsafe weapon. Stop immediately until the situation has been resolved. If you see something unsafe about to happen, something about to get broken, a disoriented player, a “mundane” (a non-LARPer) wandering into a melee, or any other “bad” thing feel free to call a hold – anyone can do so. If you are unsure about whether it justifies a hold, then just bring the situation to the attention of the other LARPers around you.

    There has NEVER been a serious injury in this system of LARP – largely due to this rule. Take this rule seriously or you will be removed.

    The Basics:

    First, Always listen to anything a marshal tells you as a marshal, that is, if a marshal tells you as a teammate to guard the flag, feel free to ignore him – but if he tells you to get off the field or take a hit – do it. Do not argue with a marshal’s call – even if you are a marshal. Marshals will never get into an argument about a call during combat, but will be happy to discuss a situation after combat is over. Marshals make mistakes, but it is important not to let that bog down the game. All marshals are equal in a combat situation.

    LARP combat is not about HITTING anyone, just TOUCHING them with a weapon. An extremely light touch works just as well as a hard hit, and enough hard hits will get you thrown out. Always keep the weapon within 90 degrees of straight ahead, that is, always keep the weapon where you can see it – don’t stick it back behind you. Do not spin around swinging your weapon – if you need to spin, hold your weapon vertically, and then swing the weapon once you have finished turning.

    Invalid Hits:

    Never hit anyone in the head, groin, or neck. Never hit women in the breasts. All these are illegal target areas. If it accidentally happens, don’t feel too bad – that’s why we pad the weapons so much – just back off and allow the person to recover before continuing combat. Be very careful of these areas as you can seriously injure someone, even with a padded weapon, by hitting them in the face or neck. While groin and breast shots have less potential for injury, they can be very painful and can also cause injury. Just keep your weapon under control and remember it is just a game. It’s not worth anyone getting hurt.

    If you get hit in an invalid location, you are not required to take any injury. If you get hit in a valid location during the same attack as an invalid location is hit (like if a weapon bounces off your head and hits your arm) you do take the valid hit. Generally if you get hit in this manner, your attacker should tell you not to take this hit, but by default you should.

    Valid Hits:

    If you get hit anywhere on the arm or hand – it is an arm hit. If your hand is hit while it is on a weapon it does not count (call “Hand”), otherwise it is still an arm hit. Any hit that touches the wrist or above counts regardless of whether the hand was on a weapon.

    If you get hit anywhere below the waist (except the groin of course), it is a hit on the leg on the side that was hit. If you get hit on both sides – for instance, across the butt – it is a hit on both legs.

    Otherwise if you get hit anywhere on the torso below the neck and above the waist, front or back, or on the shoulder – it is a body hit.

    Other Notes:

    Never tell anyone that they have been hit. Only they know. Many times you may feel you hit someone, but you did not. You may ask if they were hit if you feel they may not have noticed, but you may not insist. Everyone is responsible for tracking their own injuries. If you feel someone is cheating, do NOT confront them about it. Go to a marshal and report it. If you feel a marshal is cheating, go to another marshal and report that as well. The marshal will then keep a closer eye on the suspect individual.

    Any hit that only catches your clothing and does not actually hit you does not count. To prevent people from thinking you a cheater it is a good idea to call “cloth” when this occurs.

    If you are hit by someone accidentally (like someone on your team) it does count. This is known as Friendly Fire. If you ever accidentally hit yourself that does not count. You can only cause yourself harm if you want to.

    Any time you feel that you hit someone too hard, or hit them when you shouldn’t have, or otherwise hit them in an invalid manner you may tell them not to “take” the hit. Otherwise you should always take hits whenever you are hit unless a marshal tells you not to.

    If a weapon hits you in more than one location simultaneously, it counts as a hit in ALL locations that it touched. If a weapon slides along you, it is only one hit in each area it touches. If the weapon bounces on you a few times it is still only one hit in each area it touches. If an opponent actually manages to hit you, withdraw the weapon slightly and hit you again, each touch counts as a separate hit. If these separate hits occur too quickly (multiple hits within a second, or machine gunning) only take the first hit.

    If a weapon hits you in a manner that doesn’t count for that weapon (for instance if a spear’s shaft hits you – as a spear is a thrust-only weapon) you still take the hit as if it did count. It is the weapon user’s responsibility to tell you not to take that hit.

    If you get hit in a limb that is already taken – take the hit as if the limb was not there. Usually this makes a hit on a wounded arm a body hit and a hit on a missing leg a hit on the remaining leg. Sometimes it can mean that the hit does not count. Use your best judgment and always error on the side of taking more wounds.


    If you take an arm hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) – you lose the arm. It must be held behind the back and cannot be used for anything. Do not drop your weapon – hold it behind your back. You may switch your weapon off to another hand before moving you arm behind your back, but do it quickly – people can attack you during this time.

    If you take a leg hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) – you lose that leg. Pick it up and do not put any weight on it. You can always use the leg from the knee up – so even with no legs you can walk on your knees. If you are going to fall – please catch yourself. Just don’t catch yourself in any direction. In other words – don’t use the injured leg to move.


    If you take a body hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) – you are dead. Hold your weapon horizontally across your shoulders behind your head and squat down so people know you are dead (called the “Death Position”). If you are in the way of combat, move just out of the way, but do not move any more than is needed for your safety. For the most part, people should be dead in the location where they were killed.

    If you take a body hit and have no weapons at hand to provide the normal dead sign with, you may instead interlink your fingers behind your head and kneel as normal.

    A Few More Rules:

    Never use a weapon of a type that you haven’t used before without asking a marshal first. Never use a weapon that a certified LARP Group Weapon smith has not inspected that same day. Never fight in an unsafe area (stairs, ledges, by sharp objects, by fragile objects, etc…).

    Charging: Do not ever charge. Charging is when you either bump into someone with your body or otherwise move them by force, or force someone to move to avoid being hit by your body or shield. If you slip, that is your fault, not the field’s. If the ground is wet or otherwise slippery, take it slow and keep yourself under control.

    Force/Break: Do not ever force an opponent’s weapon with your weapon. If ever you find yourself pushing on another player’s weapon while they are pushing back – that is bad – one of you should realize this and call “Break!”. At this point, both parties and those very nearby should take a step back and try again. If you ever feel crowded by someone during combat, you may also call “Break!” to the same effect.

  • NeoCristal

    2020-05-15 at 17:19

    Weapon Rules

    First read the Basic Combat Rules. These are more detailed rules for those interested in the the different weapons. These rules are not enough for one to start making weapons. If you are interested in weapon smiting, request a blacksmith meeting.

    Weapon Use Basics:

    If a weapon has a handle, you must use it. You can not hold the weapon exclusively by its foam (note: some weapons have foam-padded handles. It is obvious where the handles are on all weapons – use them). If a melee weapon has no handles (eg: a fully-foamed staff), special rules apply and you must be separately certified to use such a weapon before bringing it into combat.

    Never drop your weapon. If you lose the arm holding the weapon, hold the weapon vertically behind your back with that arm. If your weapon is extremely long, it may be better to just discard the weapon somewhere out of the way – use your best judgment. If your weapon is knocked out of your hand (you are disarmed) you should try to pick up your weapon as soon as possible. If you are dead and your weapon has been dropped, go get it and keep it with you.

    Do not lean on a weapon with the soft foam tip of a weapon on the floor. This wears the tip down very quickly.

    General Weapon Specs

    Flails have their own rules that will not be covered here.

    No weapon of any type can have more than 1/3 of its total length composed of handle. No weapon can have a striking surface that does not extend more than a foot from any handle. Any weapon end that can strike, even if it is not for thrusting, must have a soft foam thrusting tip. No handle can extend past the halfway point of the weapon (special rules for double-ended weapons).

    Combat items, that is things that are used in combat but are not quite weapons – like shields and bows, must have all edges completely covered with foam. They need not have soft tips, but wherever possible, the entire item should be foamed.

    Weapon Materials:

    Each weapon is of some material – which can effect how it works. At least 2/3 of the striking surface of your weapon must not contain blue, red, yellow, white, or silver, unless your weapon is of a type requiring one or more of these colors.

    Metal(Steel): The default. Usually signified by grey (steel) or black (iron) coloring.

    Silver: Signified by shiny silver coloring. Has special effects against some creatures. Must have both “Silver” and “Searchable” written on it.

    Blessed: Signified by a 6″-8″ piece of white tape with “Blessed” written on it. Has special effects against some creatures.

    Holy: Signified by white coloring. Has special effects against some creatures. Must have “Holy” written on it.

    Magical: Signified by red and blue coloring. Has special effects against some creatures. Must have “Magical” written on it.

    Weapon Types:

    Sword: The sword is the basic weapon. It consists of length of foamed pipe with a handle on one end. It may be curved or straight and may or may not have a hilt. The end may be tapered one way, but not tapered to the middle (which would make it a spear). Swords need not be sharp, and can be made out of a variety of materials, including steel, silver, and others.

    Axe/Hammer: A crushing weapon that consists of basically a shaft with a metal head on the end.

    Mace/Club: Another type of crushing weapon. They must have something on the weapon other than the shaft (mallet head, spikes, branches, knots, etc…) to show it is a crushing weapon.

    Spear/Pike: Thrust-only weapons that can reach the longest of any weapon. They must have a tapered head at the end to show it is thrust only. They can only hit with the thrusting tip.

    Bow/Crossbow: Weapons that propel arrows. Bows and crossbows must have foam covering the edges, and preferably covering the entire thing. You are allowed to use thinner/lower quality foam than for a melee weapon, because a bow should never be used as a melee weapon. Arrows must have foam on the tips. We recommend golf club tubes for arrows. There are only two levels of bow – level 2 bows and crossbows shoot crushing arrows, but aren’t physically different from level 1 bows.

    Shield: Categorized as a weapon by skills, but can never be used to attack and should never come in contact with an opponent. It can be only be used to block. It can be used in conjunction with any one-handed or half-handed weapon.

    Shields do not function if not held in a hand. If for some reason a shield is attached to another part of the body and it is hit, it hits all areas that the shield touches.

    Shields are measured by average diameter. This means you first measure the longest distance across a shield (from corner to corner on a rectangular shield, the long way across an oval, etc…). Then you measure the widest point of the shield in whatever direction gets you the shortest measurement (ie: you can’t just measure a corner or the end of a tear-drop shaped shield – but you pick the smaller dimension). Then you average these two measurements.

    Staff: Straight weapons with grip(s) in the center. Require padded handles. Also can be made completely covered in foam, but special rules apply to these types of staffs – and you need to be specially certified by a Grand Marshal to use these.

    Flail: A straight length, with a short foam chain and a piece of soft-foam at the other end. These are experimental, and may be removed from the system if they prove to be unsafe. Many special rules apply to these weapons, and you need to be specially certified by a Grand Marshal to use them.

    At least half of the total length must be solid shaft (including the hard-foam tip of that shaft). Regardless of the total weapon length, the chain can be no longer than 18″ (longer than 12″ can only be used by characters who are specialized in it – see below), and must have at least 2 weak links spread throughout the length of the chain. The soft-foam end must be between 4″ and 6″ long and can not be too heavy. Flails may have up to two heads. Expect these experimental weapons to be vigorously tested – including breaking their weak links – upon weapons inspection.

    The 2/3 foam requirement is based on the shaft of the weapon and not determined by the total length of the weapon.

    Dagger: A very short (level 0) sword.

    Weapon “Handedness”:

    All shields are one-handed. Shields can only be mounted with crossbows which does not increase weapon handedness of the shield. However, a shield hit to this type of shield breaks the crossbow.

    Two-Handed Weapons: Two-Handed weapons can only be used with two hands. If the player loses an arm, the weapon can only be used to parry with one end of the weapon placed firmly on the ground.

    Hand-and-a-Half Weapons: Hand-And-a-Half weapons can be used in one or two hands, but the other hand must remain empty. If used with only one hand, the weapon becomes thrust and parry only and should not be used to slash.

    One-Handed Weapons: One-Handed weapons can be used in one hand with another prop or weapon (see Florentine Weapon Skill for details) in the other. No weapon Longer than 4’6″ may ever be considered One-Handed.

    Weapon Maximum Lengths:
























    +4″ to each level







    +4″ to each level







    +4″ to each level







    +4″ to each level






    Up to 18″ chain










    ** Shields are measured by the average diameter – averaging the greatest and least diameter of the total shield (see above).

  • NeoCristal

    2020-05-15 at 17:19

    Armor Rules

    Players may be able to use armor. Except when playing some kind of
    creature in an event, the player must have visible armor as part of
    his/her costume to get the advantages of armor. Armor is either level 1
    or level 2. Level 1 armor is just anything that looks like armor, it
    must be obvious that it is not simply clothing. Level 2 armor should
    also be rigid, heavy and/or restrictive in some way, but you still have
    to be able to feel the lightest blows through it. Magic and holy armor
    can be level 2 with only a level 1 prop. They must look like armor and
    be very obviously magical (red/blue coloring) or holy (white coloring).
    An armorer must inspect any piece of armor before it can be used, and
    any armorer may disqualify it at any time for any safety or rules

    Armor goes by the same location system as the combat hit system, with the following locations: Front/Chest, Back, Right Leg, Left Leg, Right Arm, Left Arm – 6 in all.

    If a hit comes in contact with a piece of armor, instead of taking the injury the player should call “Armor!” followed by the amount of armor that was in the location and the location the hit took play. For example, a character with Level 2 leg armor would call “Armor! 2 Leg!” or “Armor! 2 Left Leg!” when hit in the left leg. For the next hit (since only Level 1 armor is left) the call would be “Armor! 1 Leg!”.

    Damaged armor should be removed or covered when appropriate so that players realize it is no longer there. Armor can not be covered by costumes except cloaks, it must be obvious to other players that you are wearing armor and that it is broken or not broken.

    Always take any damage from hits first and keep track of the armor in your mind. Call the armor levels as soon as possible. There may be times when it is simply not possible to quickly call all the locations before continuing combat – for instance walking into an ambush and getting hit from three sides losing 2 points of back armor, 1 point of chest armor and 2 points from your left arm. Just take any actual injuries you took first, then try to call each location’s current status.

    Crushing Weapons: Some weapons can penetrate armor. These are known as “Crushing” weapons. Any weapon in the axe/hammer or mace/club category always does crushing hits. Other weapons can also do such armor-piercing hits for other reasons, at which point the opponent hitting you would call “Crushing” while hitting you. Crushing weapons break 1 level of armor in addition to a normal hit.

    Magical Call: Some attacks are Magical. These ignore your armor. If you have armor on and a “Magical” attack hits you in that location, take the hit as if you had no armor. Your armor is not damaged by this attack.

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0 of 0 posts June 2018