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.
a. Not Allowed:
- Laminated pole arms
- Spears more than 9 feet long
- Pole Weapons Longer than 7 1/2 Feet long.
- Punch daggers, T-grips, shovel handles, offensive shield bosses, kick knives, etc.
- Experimental carbon fiber spears.
- Excessively Flexible Weapons
- Weapons with cutting and/or smashing surface at both ends
- Butt spikes on pole-arms and two-handed weapons
- Madus and other similar double-ended thrusting weapons.
- Silo-flex or silo-flex-enhanced weapons.
- Most Society legal pole arms (except laminated)
- Single-handed mass weapons with “splints” or “clackers” or rattan.
- Hand-thrown weapons (axes, javelins) with minimum half-gauntlet hand protection when throwing the weapon. Troops using these weapons are full contact kill.
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.
- 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.”
- 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.
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.
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:
- Gleann Abhann King
- Marshal's Court comprised of the Kings of Ansteorra, Gleann Abhann, Meridies and Trimaris (needed to overturn the Marshal-in-Charge)
- Marshal-in-Charge of the War
- Marshal's Court comprised of the Earl Marshals of Ansteorra, Gleann Abhann, Meridies and Trimaris
- Presiding Marshal of the Particular Battle or Tournament
- 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.