Combat – binds and chainmail

August 12th, 2011

Forward: this is explaining how binds fit in with, and interacts with, mail armour. It an overview and does not go into the details of the follow up combat mechanics (like the specifics of causing damage). I’m post this as I want to get the working out of the system swimming around in my head down on paper and see what people think. This article probably requires familiarity with WarSpike’s way of doing things, though I have tried to write it so anyone can understand it, systems are complicated and it’s easy to forget relevant information a new view needs to get up to speed.


Binds (quick recap) are used in defense against an attack, used in place of basic deflections, and are resolved with MA tests. A successful MA test against an incoming attack results in a binding defense and follow up auto-counter (strike from the bind). Mechanics wise it is worked out just like regular defense rolls except weapons stay in contact and count as ‘bound’.

Important point: If a combatant has the ability to ‘bind’ they will choose to do so; as it confers an auto-win against those who cannot bind.

It is assumed that professional warriors are able to bind, and they can slaughter unskilled opponents very quickly (if you attack a skilled warrior, he is likely to bind and intend to finish you off with a follow through strike – either the point of the sword or some form of slicing. If you cannot handle a bind, you have serious trouble!

This all sounds ideal, as binding confers a huge advantage to a trained warrior, and strikes from the bind are lethal. The problem is that binding is all to common and defences were made to counter it: mail armour (‘chainmail’)

This raises an issue, as all strikes that come from the bind are far less effective than a ‘full on’ strike that is normally used.

This reduced power means that mail armour is effective as stopping all attacks from a bind.

This ends up in a bit of a catch 22
A competent mail armoured warrior will use binds to get a quick win, but if their opponent is a warrior of similar stature; it is likely they can also bind and are wearing mail armour. This has the effect of both mail armoured warriors being in a situation where their strikes are no longer effective.

Temp resolution concept
This is an idea to resolve this conflict, but I am unhappy about the rules below as they are. They are not streamlined enough for the Tactical Sphere, but are OK for the more detailed Technical Sphere.

The answer is to win at the bind and while you have the upper hand: push your opponent away and strike with a ‘full on’ blow (a regular hit, not a strike from the bind). This push and strike is special, as the strike is delivered while your opponent is wrong footed. For this to actually happen your opponent will have to first fail their fail their normal defensive MA test. If they do fail, then instead of wasting the opportunity with a ineffective (regular strike from the bind) strike, you opt to make this special push and strike move.

Note: an alternative is to grapple-at-the-sword, but I’ll deal about that at a later date.

Recap: once you have defended yourself from an attack using the bind option (successful MA test), and you choose to follow up with a ‘push’, and your opponent then fails their MA test to stop the push you can then use these rules:

The shove creates distance, and the attacker can immediately follow up with an auto-hit attack. The problem is that this attack can (and will) be defended in the usual way (not much of an advantage). The alternative is to specifically tailor the attack to take advantage of the situation.

The attacker can elect to make another MA test immediately, and to strike in a way that will deny the target a defensive MA test. Such an MA test is moving to the target’s blind side during the push, attacking as they are off-balance and unable to defend (includes spinning them, and getting in behind them, or step behind etc.)

The second MA test is taken immediately after the target fails their defensive MA test. A success second MA test will upgrade the attack to ‘unstoppable’, or from the target point of view ‘indefensible’. A failure in this test results in the regular auto-hit strike that can be defended as normal.

An unstoppable attack is a full on hewing power blow (much like a regular strike) and it will cause damage (blunt force trauma) to a person wearing mail armour.

In effect the attacker has to win two MA tests, one after the other, to put your opponent down. This is like a buffer for professional warriors.

Note: Mail armour will protect against regular one-handed trusts, but it will not protect against thrusts delivered with two hands such as half-swording, or hammer blows from a dagger (often delivered during a grappling win and the target prone – covered later).

Either way its a warrior only option (or one trained in combat).


Categories: Concepts, Rules |

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