The Melee is like a mass form of the Foot Combat. In the Melee many knights
face each other in a free for all combat. You are even allowed to take
a horse into the combat, though beware, for it can be taken as loot! There
are two aims to the Melee, to win, by being the last on the field, and
to take prisoners of opposing knights, so as to demand ransoms of them.
Many of the rules of the Melee are the same as for the Foot Combat, and
you will be referred to those rules where needed.
The Melee only happens when a number of Knights wish to fight at once.
In general if you have fewer than 6 knights the Melee is not worthwhile.
You can, however, form teams of Knights who will fight together. If only
members of a team are left behind then the team wins.
Entering the Combat
Once you have an opponent you must pay 20gp to enter the combat. You
may also attempt to win the favour of the Queen
on your combat. See the rules on the Queen. If
you do not have the 20gp for the combat you cannot enter. Assuming that
you pay the fee you eneter the combat with one weapon, a shield (if you
have one), and up to one other weapon in reserve. If you have a squire,
however, then you may have any number of extra weapons on reserve. No
weapons are dishonorable for the Melee, but you cannot use a Lance.
Laying a Wager
If you have an Honor of -3 or less you may lay a wager on the outcome
of the fight. Your wager may be any sum, but cannot be more than 10 times
your gambling skill. If you win the Melee on your own then you get back
triple your wager, while if you win it as part of a team then you get
back double your wager. You may also lay a bet that you will capture a
specific Knight, you get back one and a half times your wager if you do
Fighting the Combat
Once you enter the Melee you must fight till one of the following happens,
you are defeated or taken prisoner, you (or your team) are the last left
undefeated, or you retire. The combat is carried out in a number of rounds.
In each round first one Knight takes an action, then the another and so
on till all knights have acted. There are two ways to determine this order,
either make a Weapon Test using the skill for the weapon each Knight is
carrying, and act in order, highest first and then down to the lowest,
or have each player act in turn, taking an action for each of their
Knights, and moving clockwise round the players.
In their action a knight may do one of the following. Actions in itallics
are described in the rules on Foot Combat.
- Move on Horseback
- Mount or Dismount
- Attack a foot knight
- Attack a Mounted Knight
- Attack from Horseback
- Change Weapons
- Ready a Weapon
- Attempt to stand (if fallen)
- Offer help (to a fallen foe)
- Offer a weapon (to a foe)
- Capture a Foe
- Capture a Horse
In a Foot Combat both Knights are always beside one another, in a Melee
they may be far apart. You can attack, and be attacked by, any Knight
within 2 inches of you (measured on the table). As an action you may
choose to move to escape a foe, get close to a new victim, and so forth.
You may move in three ways walk, run, and charge.
If you walk you may move up to 5 inches across the field. After
walking you can defend normally, but you cannot attack.
If you walk you may move up to 10 inches across the field. After
running you defend at -1 next time you are attacked and cannot attack.
You may only run if you make a Health test (using your current health)
and get a 5 or more.
If you charge you may move up to 5 inches across the field. After
charging you can make an attack against any Knight (foot or mounted)
at -2 to your skill. After charging you defend at -1 next time you
Move on Horseback
You are allowed to enter the Melee on Horseback if you wish. While
you are on Horseback you may move further than a Foot Knight. You may
canter or charge your horse as follows.
If you canter your horse you may move up to 10 inches, making as
many turns as you like. After your have cantered you cannot attack,
but may defend normally.
If you charge your horse you may move up to 10 inches, moving in
a straight line. At the end of your charge you may attack any other
Mounted or Foot Knight as normal, or with a +1 bonus if you are
behind them. To charge you must make Riding test and beat a 7. If
you fail the test then you move only 5 inches and cannot attack.
If you fumble the test then you fall from your horse and take one
point of damage (you may use armour on this damage as normal).
Mount or Dismount
If you are mounted you may take an action to dismount. If you dismount
to offer help to a fallen foe then gain an additional point of Honor
for your noble action. If you are within 2 inches of your own horse
you may take an action to mount it. If you have a Squire you may have
him take the Horse from the field when you dismount, but it cannot come
back if you do.
Attack a Mounted Knight (while on foot)
A foot Knight may attack a Mounted Knight with any weapon. You do so
at a -1 to your attack however. You do not get this -1 if armed with
a polearm. If you hit the mounted Knight then they must make a Riding
test to stay mounted. The difficulty of the test is your successful
attack roll. If they fail the roll then they are fallen down beside
You may also attack the Knight's horse to make them fall off. This
is a dishonorable action, lose 1 honor if you attack a Knight's horse.
If you do so make a normal Attack test at +2. The Knight must beat this
with a Riding test or they will fall off their horse as above.
If a Knight falls from their horse they may not have their Squire come
and take it from the field.
In either case the Mounted Knight may use a shield or armour as normal.
Attack from Horseback (while mounted)
A Mounted Knight may attack a mounted or foot knight from Horseback.
If you are attacking a Foot Knight you get +1 to your Combat test, you
do not get this bonus if you are attacking another mounted knight however.
If you hit a mounted Knight then they must make a Riding test to stay
mounted. The difficulty of the test is your successful attack roll -1.
If they fail the roll then they are fallen down beside their horse.
In either case the attacked Knight may use a shield or armour as normal.
While mounted you may choose to trample a fallen foe. Doing so is dishonorable
and you will lose 1 point of honor. You may trample any fallen knight
that you can pass over, even if you are moving (see Move on Horseback
above). You a Riding test while the fallen Knight makes a normal Combat
Test. If you win then you do them 1 point of damage. If you are mounted
on a charger you have +1 on the test and inflict 2 points of damage.
Armour may be used against this damage as normal, but shields cannot.
At any time you may yeild to your opponent. Do this if you think you
are losing, or cannot beat them, to prevent yourself being vanquished
more fully. If you have no weapon and have none to change too or cannot
rise for 3 or more rounds in a row, you must yeild.
You may refuse to let another yeild and attack them. If they have no
weapon you hit automatically, if they are on the ground use the rules
above. Doing so is dishonorable and makes you lose 1 point of honor.
If you yield then the Knight you yield too may take you prisoner, see
Capture a Foe
If a Knight is defeated (goes to 0 health) or yields to you, you may
take him prisoner. To take a Knight Prisoner you must retire from the
field with him, leaving the Melee. However if you have a Squire, or
a Guardsman, they may capture the prisoner for you. Each Squire or Guardsman
may capture only one prisoner per melee. If you have already captured
as many prisoners as you have Squires and Guardsmen then you cannot
capture any more unless you retire from the field. Capturing a Knight
is an action, and you cannot Capture more than one Knight per action.
If the Captured Knight has a horse on the field then you may take the
Horse captive as well. However unless you retire from the field capturing
a horse takes up an extra Squire or Guardsman.
Capture a Horse
If you move up to (within 2 inches of) an unattented horse (its owner
is not within 2 inches of it), then you may capture the horse. Capturing
a horse in this way is dishonorable, and causes you to lose a point
of honor. To Capture the horse you must retire from the field with him,
leaving the Melee. However if you have a Squire, or a Guardsman, they
may capture the horse for you as above.
At any time you may choose to retire from the Melee, deciding that
you have had enough. If you do retire then you cannot return to the
Melee, but must wait till it is over.
After the Combat
After the Combat three things happen, both the winner and loser gain
money, prestige and experience. How much of these you gain depends on
you and your opponents, and whether you were taken prisoner. You may also
ransom back your prisoners (if any) see below.
If you Won
If you are the winner of the Melee then you gain a number of gold pieces
equal to 10 times the number of Knights in the Melee. Note that this
may not be a large ammount, most of the profit in the Melee comes from
taking prisoners. If you win as part of a team then the money is divided
amongst the team evenlly. Any leftover money after division goes to
the Knight with the highest Prestige.
If you are the sole winner of the Melee you gain 2 Prestige. If you
are a member of a winning team you gain 1 Prestige. You gain an additional
point of Prestige for each prisoner of equal or higher status that you
You gain experience equal to the number
of Knights in the Melee, plus 1 experience for each Knight you took
Prisoner, unless that Knight has a Prestige 5 or more below yours.
If you were Defeated
You gain no money.
You gain no Prestige.
You gain 2 Experience Points
If you Retired
You gain no money.
You gain 1 Prestige for each Knight of equal or higher rank that you
You gain 1 Experience Point, plus 1 experience for each Knight you
took Prisoner, unless that Knight has a Prestige 5 or more below yours.
If you were captured
You gain no money.
You lose 1 Prestige.
You gain 1 Experience Point.
Ransoming Back Captured Knights
If you captured any Knights you may ransom them back. A captured Knight
must pay you a number of gold pieces equal to their Prestige times 10,
and no less than 50gp. If they do not have enough money then they must
give you a weapon.
If you also captured a Knight's horse then they must pay you half the
value of the horse for its return, or you may keep the horse.
You may always choose to release a Knight that you have captured without
demanding any ransom. If you do so then you must also release his horse.
Releasing a Knight without ransom is very honorable, and you gain 1 point
of Honor for doing so.
If you captured a stray horse then its owner must pay you half the value
of the horse for its return, or you may keep the horse. You may release
a captured stray horse without ransom, but gain no honor for doing so.
If for any reason a Knight offers you a ransom for a horse, you can choose
to refuse the ransom and keep the horse, but doing so is dishonorable
and causes you to lose a point of honor.