Combat tactics are not well explained in the rule book. I rectify that here.
A tactic is a set of movements to which a knight commits himself. Certain things must happen, and then the knight gets his strike. That is, there is a requirement, a bonus and a consequence.
Multiple Foes, divided skills
Requirement: Have several enemies within combat distance. This might be involuntary, as several foes attack; or voluntary, if the foes are within reach (ask the GM. This is where figures on the able is useful.)
Bonus: You can engage multiple foes by dividing your attack (or even other skills) among them. If you hit an enemy, you do full damage to all of them.
Consequence: Your attack is divided up! Multiple enemies may all hit you on the same Round, and although their damage are not added up towards a Major Wound, they ARE added up against the total Hit Points.
When a character is attacked by multiple foes (up to 3 if the enemy is on foot, 2 if horsed) the defender may choose to divide his combat skill between them. The division doesn’t need to be even, and enemies can be ignored. (“I’ll put 15 against the big guy, 3 against the spear man and ignore the guy with the rake.”) The attacks are simultaneous for the round, and the winner(s) strike their targets and do full damage each time.
A character can not divide his attack and use different tactics. that is, a knight can not fight Defensively against one enemy and normally against a second, for instance.
It’s possible that a character may attempt to do two different things in a round, like defend against one enemy and help up his squire with a DEX roll. In such cases of divided attention, the two attempts are halved, or thirded, etc. In the example, the knight uses his Sword skill Defensively (18 + 10 = 28, halved = 14) and half of his DEX (13 halved = 7)
Boy, I wish I could take back the use of the word “berserk” in this circumstance, since I later used it (more correctly) for the attack madness of the Saxons and Danes.
This is a Crazy Attack. It is a reckless and all-out attack, heedless of self-defense. Knights can attempt it as a skilled tactic (be sure to use your weapon 2 handed too, for that extra +1d6 damage). This is also what peasants do in a moment of insanity, or a woman with a butter knife against her father’s murderer, etc.
Requirement: Direct this against a single target, who is named at Declaration of Intent.
Bonus: +10 to weapon, unopposed.
Consequence: The target strikes first, unopposed. If the crazy attacker is not knocked down, knocked unconscious, killed, etc. then he can finish his attack, as described in “bonus” above. He also gets a check to Reckless.
I’ll write this in later. It’s not changed from the core rules (p 120-121), and is included only to be complete.
Requirement: be in melee
Bonus: +10 to melee skill
Consequence: You can not do damage to the enemy
These replace the Grapple rules, KAP Pages 90, 118
Strike this entire section, and replace it with the text here. This is simplified from the rule book.
Grapple is a tactic, not a skill.
Characters in Arthurian literature often throw down their weapons and grapple an opponent in dramatic fashion. This tactical move simulates such tactics.
Grapple is normally used in armed combat, either when every other weapon is broken, or when stalemate has set in between two knights with excellent weapon skills, and neither can easily hurt the other. Grappling is a risky but viable option in such instances.
Armor has no effect on the skill. If both opponents are mounted there is no effect. If the grappler is mounted and his foe afoot, the grappler has no modifier for being mounted since it’s difficult to bend over and grab. Furthermore, the foot man does not have a -5 modifier, since the grappler is bending down. If the grappler is afoot and the foe mounted, then the normal +5/-5 modifiers apply.
The Grappler uses his DEX skill in an opposed resolution. The character attempting a grapple must drop weapon and shield, then grab his opponent and immobilize him. This is dangerous, but the reward for success may be a quick finish to a fight.
A winning Grapple indicates that the grappler has seized and immobilized his opponent. Imagine he’s got his arms wrapped around the victim, or is holding both his wrists. This occurs whether the opponent is using a weapon skill or also using Grapple. A partial success does the loser no good. If the grappler loses the resolution against an opponent using a weapon, he is hit normally. Ties indicate stalemate, even if the opponent is using a sword; go on to the next round. This is an exception to the rule that a sword breaks any other weapon on a tied roll. A fumbled Grapple indicates the would-be grappler falls down, and off his horse if mounted, taking normal falling damage.
With grappling success, if the grappler is horsed, assume that the victim has been pulled from his own horse and is being held tight. If both are on foot, the victim is held tight.
On the following round the grappler can keep the victim immobilized, or to throw him to the ground. No roll is needed to throw the victim to the ground. The victim cannot resist, and takes 1d6 damage from the fall and is sprawled on the ground. As usual, armor does not protect against this type of damage. If thrown from horseback, he also takes the normal 1d6 for the height of the fall for a total of 2d6.
To simply hold the struggling victim requires an opposed STR vs. STR contest, but with reflexive modifiers of +10/-10 for grappler and opponent. Success for the victim indicates he breaks the hold. If the grappler wins and also has a critical success, then he also pulls the helmet off the victim.
A dagger is the only weapon that can be used by a grappled person. He must have been armed with it before being grappled. The grappler continues to use his STR. The reflexive modifiers apply.
These rules replace Brawling, Page 118
This is simplified from the rulebook.
Brawling is an unknightly manner of fighting. Occasionally during a session a character will hit another with his fist, a chair, or whatever is handy. There is no special skill defined for such attacks, nor are characters trained in such unmilitary forms of combat. This uncouth kind of violence is more appropriate to commoners than members of the nobility. Note that if a character pulls out his dagger, the situation is no longer a casual brawl but deadly serious combat.
Brawling is different from Grapple in that Brawling attempts to do damage rather than throwing a foe to the ground.
DEX is used using opposed resolution. A critical success with this DEX roll does double damage as always, while a fumble indicates that the brawler fell down clumsily.
Modifiers should be added for drunkenness (DEX x ½), bad footing, encumbrance, and so forth. The gamemaster should decide what modifiers are appropriate, depending on what the character is attempting; for example, hitting an enemy from behind would gain a +5 modifier to DEX/2, just as with a weapon skill.
Damage for fists, kicks, etc. is equal to on one half of dagger damage, with 1d6 being the lowest possible brawling damage.
Brawling damage from casual weapons (chairs, candlesticks, rocks, beef bones, etc.) must be determined by the gamemaster, but should never be more than the character’s damage with a dagger (normal Damage statistic minus 1d6).
Glory should rarely be gained from brawling only if no alternative form of combat was possible.
Should the gamemaster wish it, engaging in a serious brawl might lose a knight 1 Honor point, and more particularly if the results are disgraceful. If the experience was unavoidable the shame may not be so great. See the “Ideals and Passions” chapter for more information on Honor.