Expanded Notes on Rapier Fox & Hound

I was at Baron Wars, an SCA event, in June this year.  This is another great event for rapier melee - one of the best held near south-eastern Michigan all year, with about four dozen fencers fighting in the melee games in the morning.  Baron Wars is held at Fort Meigs near Toledo, Ohio, and is a fun event whether you want to hit people with swords, shoot some archery, do shopping at the many merchants, or just camp and hang out with lots of friends in a fun rustic environment.  For those who have never been, I highly recommend it.

The melee was run in part by our General Peter, and in part by the North Oaken Commander, Zatarra. They did a wonderful job setting up several interesting scenarios. Here I expand my previous notes on Fox and Hound with the new things I learned that day.

"Creepy Killer" Fox & Hound

Earlier this summer I talked about the melee game Fox & Hound, which is used to teach battlefield awareness and communication skills.  Quick synopsis of the mechanics of the game:

On the field: 1 fox and 2 hounds.  If a fox kills a hound, a new hound comes off the line to replace the one that died.  If the fox gets killed, though, the hound that killed the fox immediately becomes the new fox.  A new hound comes in off the line.

Go read my post from Border War to see more of my advice for succeeding at Fox & Hound. Running it again at Baron Wars brought out a few more tips, and also a fun twist on the game that the General put in called the "Creepy Killer" technique.

Tips learned from this game:

The "Creepy Killer" twist gives two separate jobs to the two hounds in the fight.  The hound that reaches engagement with the fox first is automatically the "creep," also known as the "distractor."  The second hound, trailing behind the other, is the "killer."

This teaches two very important skills: how to distract opponents without dying yourself, and how to come up on opponents without being noticed.  

At Pennsic just a few weeks ago, I used the distracting method several times!  Whenever our line of fighters got weakened - there was only a few fighters on our side fighting a much larger line, and we were defending a target so we didn't want to be budged - I would use the distracting methods to make myself appear larger and more threatening. I did this by batting people's blades a lot out at the end of their range, all whilst yelling loudly and repeatedly for reinforcements (don't dismiss yelling as a suitable distraction device!  It intimidates people and holds their attention while making them pause!).  It gave our fighters just long enough time to get back from the resurrection line and make our line strong again.  Being able to distract and intimidate opponents can mean that your people get the crucial three-second delay they needed to get themselves back into formation or get to the right spots on the field.

I don't think I have to point out how useful it can be to learn how to approach opponents without being noticed.  Many battles have been won because fighters were able to demolish half a line of fencers by "zipping" or "zippering" it from the side, killing one fighter and then the next, because they were able to move unobtrusively and quickly.

More rapier notes to come in the future!
~Birke die J├Ągerin
Order of the Cavendish Knot
Dragon Army Pentamere XO

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