The key to the Alliance combat system working is to fight with out-of-game honor, even if your character has no honor in-game. If you don’t count hits on yourself, soon your opponent will stop counting his or her own hits as well. It’s a self-correcting system. Give your opponent his or her due and die gracefully. Don’t take being reduced to zero Body Points or dying so seriously that you refuse to accept what happens to you. It’s only a game!
Weapon swings must be safely executed in a specific way. If you are holding a weapon in a way that is not allowed by the skill, you will take the damage. Blocked and deflected shots do not count. If a block was weak and the swing hit with about half or more normal force then the hit should count.
Here is where we start getting into judgment calls by the players on themselves: Was that hit on the neck or the shoulder? Did I really get hit? (You often can’t feel hits at all if you have good armor.)
In combat, a light tap is just as effective as a heavy swing. You do not actually have to hurt your opponent in order to cause damage to the character. You only need to apply enough pressure to make sure your opponent is aware of the attack. Hitting an armored person from behind may need more vigor than a standard tap, and if it appears that your opponent is not taking all of your damage it may be because your hits are not being felt under all that armor.
You should mention to your opponent when you think you got a hit in, and all players should acknowledge hits upon themselves whenever possible. Preferably this would mean roleplaying the hit, but even something as simple as saying “taken!” can clearly communicate to your opponent that their swing landed. Acknowledging which hits you are accepting and which ones you feel you blocked will help reduce disputes from your opponent. In large melees this is not always possible, as there are too many swings coming at you and too much confusion, but in any case, this should always be attempted to assure fair playing by all.
If you are swinging so fast that you cannot announce the damage fast enough to keep up with the swings, then you are “Drum Rolling” or “Machine Gunning.” Similarly, a weapon swing should progress between 45 to 90 degrees. If you are merely moving your wrist back and forth to cause your damage, then you are not fighting correctly. We are trying to represent combat with heavy medieval weapons, not weightless laser swords. Your opponent should count all of these swings together as one attack only.
Consecutive hits upon the same spot on the body only count as one hit. You must vary your hits on your target in order to prevent machine gunning. For instance, a double hit upon the right shoulder requires that the victim take damage only once. However, if more than two seconds elapses between two scored hits, or if a different location has been hit, then the damage is taken. For instance, if a warrior quickly hits the right shoulder, then hits the shield, and then hits the right shoulder of his victim, the victim is required to take damage twice.
Clear damage “verbals” are enforced. If the victim cannot understand the damage called, he or she does not have to take the damage. Warriors must pronounce their “verbals” just like spellcasters must pronounce their spell incants.
Remember that Alliance battles are representations of battles and are not meant to be re-creations of real battle. These battles are our way of determining the winner of a battle without using dice or “rock/paper/scissors.” Real medieval battles, with their heavy weapons, did not happen as quickly, nor were they as clean and blood-free.
Some attacks may only be performed from behind. Such an attack must be performed when physically behind the opponent; you cannot reach around from the front. The attack must strike the opponent’s back half; this includes any part of the target (limbs included) which is more towards their rear than their front. Note that ranged attacks using these skills can be used from any direction, bypassing the from behind requirement.