Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On Single Combat

Let me preface this by saying that, as always, the opinions expressed here are my own, and reflect how I play the game.
On Single Combat.

It is a tradition amongst a large part of the SCA that during a melee combat, when one side has only one person left alive, they can ask, or may BE asked, for the honor of single combat. The contest then generally proceeds with them fighting individual challengers from the other side until they are slain, or until they work their way through the entirety of the opposing fighters, killing them all.

I… don’t play this game. Last time I was asked for single combat was at Pennsic a couple years ago. During the rapier plateau battle (I think) we swept across the field, just absolutely dominating. One lone guy was left, and he called “SINGLE COMBAT!”
I looked at him and said “Milord, I will grant you the honor… of the four of us killing you.” (four on one being the maximum allowed, technically)
He grinned a grin I cold see through his fencing mask, and attacked. We killed him.
The King of the Midrealm awarded him a Dragon’s Tooth for his heroic stand.
I did him an honor. I acknowledged that he was a threat, and responded accordingly.
If you offer me single combat… I will tell you to pick three friends. I will not be offended… I get that you are playing the game your way, and that’s OK. But going out in a blaze of glory buried in enemy dead is a much more attractive option to me than eventually getting killed, exhausted after fighting a bunch of singles fights. If I wanted singles combat, I would go to the pickup field. I will usually not let it come to that… I will attack first, to keep the question from being asked.
My attack will probably go something like this...

This weekend at Panteria, our side got rolled up. Sir Rhys was the last of our side left alive, on his knees. The other side gave him single combat…. And he proceeded to kill all of them (seven, I think).
After it was over, I gave one of them Uncle Olaf’s words of wisdom…
Next time, you grab three of your buddies and you skull f^ck him to death… J


  1. I was at Panteria watching that happen. I didn't know what was going on at the time, but it was amusing to watch one guy take out all the others one at a time.

  2. Yup,
    But don't just rush them either if they ask. Telling them you respect them too much or some other compliment before you move in. I used to say "Sorry I'm not allowed." And blamed my boss when I was a squire.

  3. If they ask, I won't rush them... I will tell them to pick three friends.

  4. Great tale! Amusing to be sure...

    Your battles sound shall I word it...poetic. Often skullduggery is nothing if not chaotic bleeding poetry...

    ~Sabin M. Jarvis, Author of The Siege of Sarpay