Winter War Maneuvers

It has been a long time since we posted anything about melee, so for a change of pace, I thought I’d provide a recap of a melee training that I ran recently. I was not initially planning on attending the event (5 hour drives are the new normal for event travel, but it’s a bit […]

Drill of N Things

The Drill of 5 Things has been expanded a wee bit of late so I figured I’d share it, in lieu of actually updating/modernizing/organizing the drills pages on this site.

As with the drill of N things, this is stolen from Walter Triplette. It’s the first lesson he runs students through.

There are some parts […]

Discussing Tactics: Distributing experienced fighters

The Warfare has had a lot of discussion recently on fighting individually, but precious little discussion on melee. I would like to start a weekly discussion where a scenario is given and we discuss the optimal ways to fight in that scenario.

The Scenario: You are commanding a 5 man melee team. You have 2 […]

How to be the one in a 2v1 part 1: Initiative and Obedience

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

I came across this quote following a baronial fencing practice, and it seemed oddly fitting to one of my observations from our 2v1 practice that day. The 2v1 drill we were working was focused on training the two to defeat the […]

Team Division and Rationale

A few years ago, when I was lamenting the repeatedly unbalanced state of the melees I was attending, I decided to develop a method for dividing sides so that they would be equal in practical terms, and not merely on paper. Merely alternating White Scarves can sometimes work out OK, but that can also create […]

King’s Assessment, 2014

Ibrahim, Gaiwn, and myself squeezed into Gawin’s hatchback and drove out to rural Virginia. At one point we stalled out on a gravel mountain road and had to push. It was that kind of day.

The Site

Chantilly Festival Farm only opened a little over a year ago, and the place is beautiful – 90 […]

A New Book of Four Things

Sir Corby, veteran of the armored field, holds that two opposed melee lines can do essentially four things to one another. In order of difficulty, they are:

1. Charge 2. Run right 3. Run left 4. Engage lightly/Die slow

So, the line can move forward, right, left, or nowhere. (I think he’s missing one direction. […]

Destroying a Line

Fencers do not form lines on a mere whim. The line formation, as I’ve said before, derives great strength from its easily maintained cohesion. These strengths do not exist on the line’s flanks, which is why we usually direct our attacks there, and why we usually put our strongest fencers on our flanks.

However, it […]

So It’s Your First Melee….

So, you’re about to head to your first melee event. Or third, or tenth, or whatever. Chances are that if you’re reading about how to be better at melee, then you’re probably not someone who would be considered a veteran of many wars. That’s fine: we all start there. You can’t have 20 years of […]

Practicing Principles

A lot of our pre-melee discussion, in Atlantia and elsewhere, seems to center on assigning people to various roles. Where do we put the junior fighters? Where do we put the senior fighters? Who’s in command? Everyone together? Specialized units?

I think Windmasters’ Hill has it right: everyone should be capable everywhere. We shouldn’t ask […]