- The basic attitude required in these fights is that they should be SAFE and FUN, both for audience and fighters. The attitude is very important – if you engage to win, no matter what, people will get injured, and if that happens, you are in the wrong! All injuries and incidents will be investigated. After the fight, our aim is that everyone should feel that the battle has been safe enough, and not too hard.
- You must be 18 or over to register as Cavalry or Heavy infantry.
- The battles will be semi-coordinated. This means troop movements and arrow volleys are coordinated, but the actual battle between the units will be “free”. If you fail to show respect and care for your opponents, you may be banned from the field.
- Obey orders without question, and do not leave your unit without letting your commander know. This is important, as arrows will be fired at different areas, and cavalry units will charge the field. Your leader needs to know exactly where you are, to avoid injuries. If you fail to follow the orders of your commander, you may be banned from the field.
- Non-combatants and light troops may not engage in close combat with anyone. You may not engage non-combatants, light infantry or horsemen unless specifically ordered to, and unless you have practiced this beforehand. If you find yourself in a situation where this could be the case, fighter units may make a mock “cutdown”, where they pretend to cut their targets down. No physical contact whatsoever is allowed, neither with body nor weapons.
- All weapons (including knives) must follow the weapons regulation of the Battle of Wisby event.
- It is absolutely forbidden to consume any alcohol on the same day a fight or a practice fight takes place (from 00:00 o’clock, until the fight is over).
- When arrows are being fired at your unit, your commander will shout ”Pilar!” or ”Arrows!”. When this command is issued, turn your face to the ground. If you have a shield, raise it. Do NOT look up until the order ”Pilar slut/No more arrows” is issued. Never look up at falling arrows!
- You are not allowed to fight with your visor down against opponents with open helmets. A lot of people will be wearing open helmets, and if all visors are up, visibility will improve significantly. Furthermore, you will probably be a bit more careful when engaging your opponents. All in all, this means a safer fight.
- If somebody shouts ”STOPP” or ”HOLD”, all fighting in the concerned units must stop. If an injury has occurred, shout ”Sjukvårdare!” or ”Medic!” (alternatively ”Skadad!or ”Wounded!”). Never shout these words if there isn’t an actual injury.
- Take care not to step on fallen fighters.
- Our audience loves us, and we love them back! Give them a good show, and make sure you have fun, too! Make as much noise as you please, and take the opportunity to be as theatrical in your bellowing as you dare!!
USING YOUR BODY WHEN FIGHTING
You may not grab an opponent’s weapon if it doesn’t have a wooden shaft. You may push or trip your opponent if this is done in a controlled, safe way.
THE FORCE OF BLOWS AND THRUSTS
You blows should only be hard enough for your opponent to register them, and never so hard that there is any risk of wounding your opponent. No force may be used against unarmored body parts, but if your opponent wears a gambeson or chain mail, you may use moderate force. You may hit harder only when your opponent wears plate armour or similar.
APPROVED TARGET AREAS
- The points of weapons used for thrusting must always be pointed downward. Thrusts are only allowed to hit the torso below collarbone height.
- Thrusts against neck or throat, hands, joints, groin, or feet are forbidden. An accidental hit in these areas will not count as a hit.
- A thrust should be made horizontally or downwards – never upwards.
- Try not to hit the upper half of your opponent’s shield – the weapon might glance and hit your opponent in the face.
- The whole body below the neck is considered a valid target area – again, except for neck or throat, hands, joints, groin and feet, which are off-limits. An accidental hit sustained in these areas will not count.
- The head is considered an invalid target area by default, but may be allowed as a valid target provided that:
- Your opponent’s helmet is designed in such a way, and the angle of your blow is carried out in such a way, that there is no risk that the blow glances off the helmet and hits neck, throat or face.
- Even if your opponent takes a step back or turns his head, you would still hit the head.
RULES FOR SPECIFIC WEAPONS
Two-handed cutting weapons
Take specific care not to use too much force with these.
Never use these weapons with force – you might severely injure your opponent.
You are not allowed to use your axe for grappling clothing, armour, or body. If your weapon gets tangled by accident, you must let go of it to avoid injury.
Getting put out of battle condition is based on your logic and sense of fair play. This is not a competition – the Danes will win. You get put out of fighting condition if it seems logical that you would. If five people are hitting you and you only have light armor then you should go down. If you are a fully armored knight, maybe you should ignore light hits on your armor? Even if you go down, it does not mean you will stay out of battle for the rest of its duration. It is quite possible to act knocked out, and then find your inner strength and come up for another turn.
Light troops (which do not wear hand protection) will NOT be engaged in any actual combat, but it is quite alright to dispose of them in a safe manner if they do not flee. So, it is all up to you, we trust you, and that your goal is to put on a good show for the spectators, and not just do battle for your own entertainment.
When you do get taken down, we encourage you to act as if you were really dying! Screams and general theatrical behaviour is a great plus and will be appreciated by everyone, your fellow fighters and audience alike!
If you “die” among other fighters, protect your head and lie on one side. Do not fall on anybody else’s upper body or head. If you have “died” or if you are “severely wounded”, you will remain on the battlefield until the battle is over, unless someone carries you off the field or you get a order to come ”alive” again. If too few people in a unit “die”, the unit commander may order people to do so, to make the battle more realistic to the audience.
More information about our battle mechanics and what we expect will be announced during the mandatory mustering events, where all combatants will get to practice our way of fighting.
MEASURES TAKEN IN CASE OF INJURY
- Make all fighting in the immediate vicinity of the injured person cease by shouting ”STOP/HOLD”.
- Make room.
- Perform first aid.
- Decide if you need to call a medic to your location, or if the wounded is fit to walk by himself to the nearest medic.
- If medics are needed, shout ”MEDIC”, and make sure that your unit commander is aware of what is happening.
- When the wounded is moved off the field, a comrade must always accompany him. The unit commander must be informed about who is leaving, which type of injury has occurred, and whether the wounded is fit to walk.
- The overall battlefield commander must be notified as soon as possible.
Investigation following injury or incident
“Incident” means a situation that might have led to injury, but fortunately did not.
After the battle, there will be a follow-up on what happened. When someone is wounded, it is crucial that the person responsible is identified. The overall battlefield commander will appoint three people to perform the investigation. These three will interview people who saw what happened, including of course the people directly involved. The investigators will then present a written report. It must contain:
- Who was put in danger/wounded?
- Who was responsible?
- What happened?
- Why did it happen? I.e. was it an accident or did somebody act carelessly?
The overall battlefield commander will then decide the consequences, which may be any of the following:
- A warning.
- Battle practice with inspectors.
- The person responsible for the incident or injury may not take part in any fighting for the rest of the event.
- The person responsible for the injury may never again take part in fighting among the groups following these rules.
We hope that all participants will behave in a safe manner during the battles.
– Thomas Neijman, overall battlefield commander.