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Next Step for the Northshield Army | The Jaravellir Playbook - Basic Commands Page 1 | The Jaravellir Playbook - Basic Commands Page 2 | The Jaravellir Playbook - Reform Commands | The Jarravellir Playbook - Advanced Commands | Movement Commands | Shield Wall 101 | Spear: The Real Melee Killers | Battle Field Tactics for the Common Soldier
The Electronic Eric Melee Combat Manual
Battle Field Tactics for the Common Soldier

as taught by Lord Hagar Stromburg Blackrune October 1989 and updated March 1992 with comments from a class added by Lady Scannlach Faolscatha

Comments: A prime goal is to disorganize your enemy. You can do this by getting behind (or even in) enemy lines.

1. Concentrate on 2 to 3 combat - this is the key.

Comments: Practice double-teaming at fighter practices. One should be defending and one should be killing. It MUST be done quickly!

2. One fighter behind enemy lines can create massive damage if the plan is carried out correctly.
A. Kill as many as you safely can.

Comments: Emphasize SAFELY. Kill 1-2 then leave and go somewhere else where they don't know about you. Disrupt their reserve units.

B. Present yourself as a constant threat if the enemy
should find out you are there, Remember, they don't
know what your battle experience is.

Comments: Draw a few way from their lines and keep them away by being a threat (distract them). if they chase you, go deeper; stay behind them.

C. Always stay on the move.

Comments: Keep moving around, you're outnumbered. If you stop, you are dead. If you have a choice of targets, you should have a priority for kills such as the following: enemy commander, knight in reserve, spearmen, shieldmen (or some such).

E. Don't ever think there's a 'safe zone' behind your
own lines; there isn't. If you can do this to the
enemy, they can do it to you.

3. If one is ever separated from a unit, that fighter should find another unit as quickly as possible and join it.

Comments: Find a unit to join; you are vulnerable alone. Or, you might try to draw off an enemy unit from the area (behave as if in enemy territory).

4. Don't just charge into any number of enemy ranks unless there is good purpose.

Comments: Sometimes you may be commanded to disrupt the enemy lines, but the follow-up attackers (usually poles) should be notified of the tactic far enough in advance that they can act effectively. Sometimes on a flank attack this might be okay, but try to survive and leave.

5. Constantly turn a unit's flanks. NOTE: the West has shown no defense against flankers -so far.)

Comments: individuals can help do this by moving to the end of the enemy line outside easy weapon range. You may be able to distract 3-4 enemy troopers. If you do this, present yourself as a threat but don't get killed. Stay out
however, only one fighter is watching, you may be able to make the on your assessment of his abilities, and your own). if you decide attract more attention. The more people you can distract, the less fighting unit becomes. You reduce their effective numbers, and distracted ones easier to kill from the front. In this case, attract as of range. If, kill (it depends not to attack, effective their you make the much attention as possible. Also, your threatening may cause an enemy fighter to call for help and distract his own fighters.

6. When confronted by only one or fewer than you ranks, (Example: 3 on 2, 6 on 3, etc.) attack them! Exception: If it is a 1 on I situation, remember to size up your opponent. Don't charge a knight!

Comments: Beware of a decoy. Don't be awed if there are 2-3 of you unbelted on 1 knight - go after him. Don't delay; this can cause your death.

7. Knights: Never (with the exception mentioned in 8 below) accept single combat from them. They are knights because they are good to excellent fighters. (Example: Arizona War. There were 6 fighters waiting in line for single combat with a knight. Soon thereafter those 6 fighters were out of combat.)

Comments: This is War. Don't do single combat. Don't use the "tourney" mentality.

8. There is only one occasion in which single combat is an acceptable tactic. When all means of escape are cut off and your death Is eminent, call for single combat with one of the knights!

Comments: If you obtain that single combat, dance around, stay out of reach, protect yourself Stay alive as long as possible. This buys time for your friends and it occupies not only the knight, but all of his friends who want to watch him kill you.

9: With the brigade level of army organization, listen to commanding officers, whether or not they are part of your regular command unit.

Comments: If you receive a command from a different officer that contradicts your last orders, follow it anyway. He may see something you don't. Generally speaking, follow the last command given. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

10. Find out who your commanders are. Know your army command structure as well as your unit.
(NOTE: Good field commanders are needed in SCA combat!)

11. There are times when you want to press a unit, but you when you see a friendly unit or troops behind the enemy. and not what is coming behind them.

Comments: Press a unit without engaging frontally, especially when they have been flanked. On the other hand, your unit should designate flank watchers at the following ratio: 1 watcher for a 5 man unit; 2 watchers for a 10 man unit; 3 watchers for a 20 man unit.

12. Always try to be aware of the combat situation taking place around you at all times.

Comments: Talk to each other even if you think your friends know the situation.

13. Be patient during set up for battles! The commanders survey the enemy army deployment and may change your position. (In one case, at Estrella, the marshals kept changing the boundaries of the field and moved the units from one place to another for several minutes.)

Additional Comments:
Even if you feel your side has lost the battle, don't give up. Keep fighting. On the other hand, if your unit has won a skirmish it does not mean that other units in the army have won, they may need help so go help them. Always move to where the fighting is.

If you see a fighter without helmet tape (army designation) and you don't know him personally, kill him. Enemy fighters have been known to infiltrate our lines after hiding or removing their tape. [Of course this is misinterpreting the rules (cheating), but they don't care.]

Do as your commander asks with regard to the weapons you use. Use effective war tools:
Large shield and short stabbing weapon [short sword (under 28"), mace, or axe all with thrusting spikes], 9' poles (7,5' poles are generally less effective except when two shield walls clash). The three main war weapons are spear, war axe, and war shield and short weapon.

You might want to experiment with weapons during resurrection battles. Extra weapons can be stashed at the resurrection point. Units usually disappear during resurrection battles. You can join with anyone to make a team. You shouldn't necessarily wait for your own team members. What if they don't get killed for half an hour?

Have a unit flag, banner, or pennant. This gives the fighters a place to reform after a skirmish. They should immediately reform, then follow their leader to where there is still fighting going on. There is a need for leadership at the lower levers (squad or fireteam).

if your unit is massively outnumbered (10:30) spread out and disrupt their unit. them as long as possible by using skirmish tactics (as behind enemy lines).

if the enemy tries to outflank you there are two options:
Send fewer men than the flankers, to guard against them. Stay in tight to your unit.

Or, split out a single "deep end" man, possibly with a great sword or with two weapons, to take the outside ground. Then they will have to allow him to flank them, or they will have to deal with him and a second man can kill them from behind.

Note This Column is written by a fighter from Caid. They practice death from behind.

One thing they also do is TRAIN. That must not be permitted here either (ED)

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