Wistric’s Weekly Warfare 32: Melee Training Cheat Sheet   6 comments

Yes, something actually melee related.  On Saturday, the Canton of Attillium hosted a war practice, and His Excellency, Letia, Miguel (taking a weekend off from his studies in the great university city of Asheville), and I trucked down to the site for Tournoi d’Amity Island to work melee (His Ex with the armored fighters, me with the rapier fighters).  I had an hour on Friday during a department meeting to think about what I’d work on with melee fighters, and made up a cheat sheet.  I didn’t follow all of this, given the experience levels I was working with, but I’m going to keep it handy for the next batch of these (and post here so Miguel can take it back to Asheville):

Part 1: Concepts Discussion

Dying Safely and Securely

  • Without disrupting your team’s actions or the enemy
  • Without risking getting mistaken for a live opponent

Commands to know

  • Forming a Unit
    • Rally
    • Form a Line
    • Dress the Line
    • Stay the Line
  • Moving
    • Advance
    • On the Double
    • Charge
    • Fall back
    • Slide Right/Left
    • Wheel Right/Left
  • Attacking
    • Engage Lightly
    • Run Right and Run Left
    • Charge (as an attack)

Killing Cups

Wistric’s Rules

  • Rule 1: Don’t die
  • Rule 2: Don’t let the guy next to you die
  • Rule 3: Kill the enemy
  • Rule 4: Remember the Goal
  • Rule 5: First one to say something is in charge
  • Rule 6: Plans should be given in 10 words or less
  • Rule 7: Don’t ask stupid questions
  • Rule 8: Take every advantage of terrain and position


Threat Assessment


  • Two rules (and only two rules) at Society level
  • No rules at Kingdom level
  • All other “rules” are just convention
  • Don’t be an asshole

Part 2: Skills Practice

Start with Leaderless Melee

  • Provides opportunity to analyze skill sets of unknown fighters

Movement in a Line (orders from concepts discussion)

Running the right/left

Breaking a line

Breaching a room

Munching a flank



Part 3: Drills

Galen’s Line Drill:
Split the practice in half, 2-3 on a side. When you get killed, take a large step back, take a deep breath, then step back in. That way, everyone gets time in a melee without lots of running or stopping ’cause you’re outnumbered 3 to 1.
An extension of this is to do 3 fighter and 1 commander drill. That way a bit more tactics can be employed. I’m not sure how the fast res would work if the fighters became too mobile. We’d also need more than 4 fighters at any given time.

Dante’s Charge Drill
Form up in two lines, one line advancing on the other.
At the moment your points cross, begin taking control of your opponent’s sword, keeping the line closed as you continue to move forward. Don’t stop advancing even for a moment, and don’t throw yourself forward hoping for a double kill.
An entire line that doesn’t stop and doesn’t suicide will CRUSH an enemy who falters.
Practice it at a walk with no masks for the “Atlantian” side; you’ll figure out the difference between being covered vs. uncovered real quick.
This does NOT mean “sweep with my blades and try to draw cut like a damn fool”. Thrusts only.

10 Second Drill (3+ fencers)
“Victim” starts fighting “First Dude”. After ten seconds, “Second Dude” reinforces “First Dude”. After ten more seconds, “Third Dude” reinforces “Second” and “First”. Etc.
Victim’s goal is to kill each opponent in detail, within the ten seconds. “Dudes” goals are to stay alive long enough to be reinforced and gain a numerical advantage.
Variations: Reduce 10 second count to 7 or 5 seconds. Start with First and Second Dude engaged with Victim.   Have two victims.

Sharks and Minnows (aka “Knights and Unbelts”, 5+ fencers)
Two to three “sharks” take on approx. twice their number of “minnows”. The minnows’ job is to cross the field as a cohesive body (if they scatter, they fail) with minimal loss. Sharks are trying to disrupt and destroy.

Zipper Drill (6+ fencers)
Form lines at line engagement range (123 v ABC). Start with slow work: Fencer 1 lunges and hits A. B hits 1, 2 hits B, C hits 2, 3 hits C. Repeat, starting from any point on either line. Then work up to real speed, with the goal of landing the shot and recovering without dying, or protecting your exposed teammate, etc.

Melee w/ 2 fencers
Use inanimate markers to indicate lines while practicing the maneuvers of running left/right, engaging lightly, breaking a line, et al.

No Orders Drill (To build individual judgment)
Equal sides.  No orders, commands, or plan given before or after lay-on.  Discuss in-depth afterward.

Line Breaching Drill
Start as with the Zipper drill.  One fighter calls “dead” and walks out of the line at random, opposing line exploits gap

Posted February 21, 2010 by wistric in Melee, Wistric's Weekly Warfare

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