Combat Rules

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Combat is at the core of the game of Amtgard and represents a significant portion of the time spent at Parks each week.

Hit Locations

Hit locations.jpg

Players have five locations which may be Wounded: Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, Right Leg, and Torso.

Arm: From just below the outside point of the shoulder to the tips of the fingers.
A hand is not Wounded if struck below the wrist while holding a melee weapon, shield, or bow. Treat hits below the wrist to a hand holding a melee weapon, shield, or bow as though they had hit the weapon, shield, or bow held instead.
Leg: From just below the end of the buttocks in the back, the hip socket in the front, and an imaginary line between them on the sides down to and including the foot.
A foot on the ground is not Wounded if struck below the ankle.
Torso: Everything that isn’t an arm or leg, including the groin, shoulders, and collar bones up to the vertical rise of the neck.


  1. Players may not be struck in the neck or head. Will not count as a hit and is invalid.
  2. Players may not block shots with their neck or head. Intentional head blocking can result in being called dead by a reeve.
  3. A Wounded arm may not wield Equipment, cast magic, carry anything, and must be kept out of combat. A Wounded Arm is capable of receiving an additional Wound.
  4. A Wounded leg must have the knee in contact with the ground. The knee of the Wounded leg may be lifted from the ground briefly to enable movement so long as the unwounded leg has a knee on the ground. If the player cannot or chooses not to place their dead knee in contact with the ground, the player must immediately notify their opponent(s) of this by stating “posting” in order to avoid dropping to their knees. While posting, the player may not voluntarily move the foot of the wounded leg, although it may be used to pivot. Posting continues until the player dies, has their leg wound healed, or is instructed otherwise by a Reeve.
  5. Players with a Wounded leg who are affected by abilities which force movement may choose to ignore the requirement for dead legs to have the knee on the ground (or, if "posting," to not voluntarily move the foot of the wounded leg) for the purposes of completing the required movement. While moving in this manner, the Wounded player may not attack, cast magic, or activate abilities, but may defend themselves. Has no effect on abilities already activated, magic already cast, Chants already in progress, or enchantments activating such as Phoenix Tears. Once the player has completed the required movement, they must re-place their knee in contact with the ground, or redeclare "posting" if unable todo so.
  6. A Wounded Leg is capable of receiving an additional Wound (even if “posting”), except when the knee is on the ground or during the initial placement of the knee on the ground after receiving a Wound.

Combat Contact

A broad range of contact is allowed in combat. The rules below outline what is and is not acceptable. No action is acceptable if it is performed in an unsafe manner. The responsibility for the results of an action always rests squarely on the the actor. Unsafe behavior on the field can result in suspension from play at the discretion of the Champion, Monarch, or Guildmaster of Reeves.


The following actions are acceptable.

  1. Weapon to Weapon contact is allowed.
  2. Weapon to body contact is allowed on valid Hit Locations using Strike-Legal portions.
  3. Body to Weapon contact: Weapons may be pushed, swept, and otherwise manipulated with your body so long as the Weapon is not trapped or grabbed. Pushing or sweeping a Strike-Legal surface results in a valid hit to the location used for contact.
  4. Weapon to Shield contact is allowed.
  5. Shield to Weapon contact: Shields may be used to deflect, move or pin an opponents Weapon
  6. Shield to Shield contact: Shields may be used to deflect, turn, or pin an opponents Shield so long as the wielder of the struck Shield is not moved. Bashing a shield is prohibited.


The following actions are unacceptable. Some amount of incidental contact is expected in a contact sport but repeated or egregious offenses will result in suspension.

  1. Body to body contact is prohibited.
  2. Body to Shield contact is prohibited.
  3. Active Shield to body contact is prohibited; passively using a Shield to prevent an opponent’s forward movement is acceptable and does not count as body to Shield contact on the part of the recipient.
  4. Active Weapon to body contact using portions of a Weapon other than Strike-Legal is prohibited; passively planting the shaft of a Great Weapon to block an incoming opponent is acceptable.
  5. Forcing a player’s Weapons against them with your body or Shield is prohibited.

Inflicting Wounds

Wounds may be inflicted by contacting a Hit Location with the Strike-Legal portion of a Weapon. Shots from Melee Weapons fall into two broad categories:

A valid slash must be percussive (contact with an audible pop) and stop on or deflect off the victim.
A valid stab must strike with the tip and stop on or deflect off the victim.

These requirements do not apply to projectile weapons. Any contact from the Strike-Legal portion of a projectile weapon will cause a Wound unless otherwise noted.

Some contacts which partially fulfill the above criteria are listed here as examples of invalid shots.

Examples of Invalid Shots

Slashes that are neither percussive nor stop/deflect.
Draw Cuts
Stabs which fail to strike with the tip. These contacts slide against a victim instead of impacting cleanly.
These contacts are pushed into or slid against a victim after the initial motion was completely blocked and the initial motion had stopped.


Any two Wounds, or a Wound to the Torso, results in a Death.

  1. Unless otherwise noted a Dead player may not speak to living players or interact with game play in any manner.
  2. Unless otherwise noted in the battlegame description a Dead player may choose to return to their respawn point or remain where they died but may not otherwise move about.
  3. Dead players may move to avoid mundane danger or interfering with living players.
    • This does not count as moving for the purposes of Magic or Abilities so long as no game advantage was derived.
  4. Dead players may retrieve their own equipment from the field while dead, but may not interfere with play in any way and must stay at least 10 ft from any living opposing players while doing so.
  5. Dead players that move after dying may only return to play via respawn unless otherwise noted.
  6. Unless otherwise noted Dead players may not be the target of Magic or Abilities.

Combat Notes

Miscellaneous rules necessary for the smooth operation of combat.

  1. Shots that only strike garb, armor, or unwielded equipment do not count as a hit unless:
    1. Said items blocked a blow that would have struck a combatant (i.e. garb, equipment, sheathed weapons, etc. are not shields and do not count as armor)
    2. The shot is Engulfing. Engulfing effects do trigger on garb and equipment hits
  2. If a person is wounded in an arm throwing a shot, or killed, shots they threw into motion before being struck still count as a hit, if they land within a half second of being struck. In the case of a two-handed weapon, the wielder must remove their wounded hand from the weapon within a half second for the shot to count. This should be a clear case of finishing an already thrown shot, meaning that it requires no change of direction and the last action required to finish the shot has already been started prior to being struck. If you have any questions, ask your kingdom/group level Guildmaster of Reeves. A reeve‘s call is always final in determining if a shot is in time or late.
  3. A player may hold more than one weapon in a single hand, but may not wield more than one weapon in a single hand at the same time. A player may fire multiple arrows simultaneously.
    1. It must be visually clear at all times which weapons are wielded and which weapons are only held. If this is not the case, all of the player's weapons are considered unwielded. Example: A player may hold a Dagger in one of the two hands wielding a Great Weapon, but could not hold two Short Swords in the same hand and only consider one of them wielded.
    2. A player may fire multiple arrows simultaneously but may not throw multiple Thrown Weapons, Javelins, or Magic Balls at once from a single hand.
  4. Unless otherwise noted in the battlegame description players may always choose to take a Death. Players who take a Death may not return to play except by respawning, may not activate any ‘on death’ Magic and Abilities such as Fight After Death, have all Enchantments removed (including Persistent ones), and do not benefit from any Magic or Abilities that prevent Death such as Undead Minion.
    1. Unless otherwise noted by the game designer, intentionally causing your own death is the same as taking a death. Examples include striking yourself with a weapon, casting Finger of Death on yourself, and jumping into lava or off a bridge

Combat Etiquette

Combat is fast-paced and highly competitive. In order to minimize misunderstandings and confusion on the field it is important to observe the following rules.

Handling Equipment

  1. Never handle anyone's personal property without first having their permission.

Calling Your Shots

  1. When you are Dead announce it immediately and clearly. A player who does not indicate their Death promptly will likely be struck again.
  2. Communicate early and often with your opponents. If you made a close block or feel your opponent’s shot was invalid, communicate it immediately.
  3. If you are unsure if your opponent’s shot was good enough, it was. Only shots which are clearly invalid should be treated as such. If you have to think about it, take it.
  4. If an opponent hits you with a shot you think is late, ask them if they think it was in time. If they believe it was in time or are unsure if it was in time, take the shot.
  5. When Dead, immediately move yourself the minimum distance necessary to avoid interfering with ongoing combat.
  6. If asked you must promptly indicate your current Wounded status.

Delivering Shots

  1. Do not call shots on other players unless you are reeving or the player in question asks your opinion.
  2. If you have an issue with a player not taking a shot you believe connected, ask them about it politely and directly in the form of a question. If you are not satisfied with their response then bring the issue to a reeve.
  3. If an opponent takes a Wound from you which you do not believe was from a valid shot, tell them not to take it. If they insist, let it go.
  4. If you hit an opponent with a shot that was late, immediately let them know not to take it.
  5. If you strike an opponent in the head or neck and derive a combat advantage from it, stop fighting and allow them to recover. If necessary back up to the point of the shot and resume the fight.


  1. If you become upset or angry go take a break. Come back when you’re ready to continue.
  2. If you believe a weapon on the field is unsafe, or being used in an unsafe manner, then immediately address it politely with the wielder. If the issue persists then address it with the Champion, reeve, or a park official.
  3. If you become injured on the field immediately inform any player engaged with you and remove yourself from the field of play. If you need assistance in removing yourself from play notify a nearby player or reeve.
  4. If a player becomes injured in your immediate vicinity move yourself a short distance away and continue play. If the injured player appears unable to leave the field or otherwise requires assistance then remove yourself from play to offer assistance. Under no circumstances should a player attempt to stop the field of play because one person has become injured unless it is necessary to provide for the safety of the injured player.
  5. If it is necessary to notify nearby players of a safety situation which requires them to stop play, then the player recognizing the situation should announce loudly “safety” to get the attention of nearby players and direct them away from the situation. If it is necessary to stop play for the entire field a player should announce loudly “emergency”. All players must avoid safety incidents while continuing play. All players must immediately stop play and cease moving until an emergency incident has been resolved.
V8 Rulebook
Introduction · V8 Made Easy · Organization · Role-playing · Combat Rules · Armor · Weapons · Weapon Types, Shields, and Equipment · Equipment Checking · Magic Items · Battlegames · Classes · Magic, Abilities, States and Special Effects · Magic and Abilities · Rules Revision Process · Common Misconceptions · Award Standards · Kingdom Boundaries & Park Sponsorship · Annexure