Last week, I covered most of the basic rules and a few that are harder to follow in the rulebook. Today I want to recap some of what Treethump discussed Saturday before the event and a few odds and ends that have come up. If you think of other questions, let me know.
I'm sure many of you got introduced to missile weapons pretty well during bridge battles. Just remember, they do damage just like stabs and ignore armor (except helmets). Head and body are kill shots. All missile weapons must deflect 30 degrees to count, instead of the sufficient force rule.
You can only block arrows with shields. Intentionally blocking with your weapon or attempting to catch an arrow causes death. This is to discourage creating an unsafe situation by causing an arrow to flip over. Arrows travel through weapons (and hand on weapon), hitting whatever is behind it. Unlike normal, archers can call what their arrow hits. Even if you think they are wrong, just take it.
Javelins can be blocked by any means. They are padded for safety all around, so swing at them, catch them, or block them with your shield. It is up to you whether it hit you, but the person throwing it will usually call it off (saying haft or shaft) when they know it wasn't a good hit. If they know it flew strait, they'll let you know it was flying "point" first. That means if you felt the hit, it was probably good.
I also had some people ask about hitting each other at about the same time and who wins, etc. By the rules, once you are dead, you stop moving, drop your gear, and look dead. You will find, however, that it isn't always possible or safe to drop immediately during a swing. It can also be hard to distinguish who hit first.
This is why a significant amount of people play "shot in motion". The idea is that any swing that started before you were hit can finish its motion and counts. Anything after that is considered "late". It is up to whoever is swinging to decide if their shot was on time, so take the hit unless they call it off. If you aren't sure your swing was on time, call it off.
Anytime a shot is called off, either as "late" or a herald says it doesn't count, be courteous to those around you and announce you are back in the fight. Try to give your opponents fair warning like "still alive" rather than just getting up and swinging.
"I got hit, but I don't know if it was body or arm". Anytime you aren't sure, take the worst, in this case, body. The same logic applies anytime you aren't sure you are dead. If you can't decide, just take death, you'll be back up fighting in a minute anyway.
"I took the damage, but never actually got hit". Sometimes, especially for new fighters, our bodies just do the wrong thing and take a knee when we got hit in the hand, or other oddities. Any time you call yourself dead, take a knee, or put your arm behind your back, keep the damage, even if you didn't aim to. This is much more important in larger fights than in duels. We want to avoid someone calling dead, then getting back up after people have ignored them.