Duelling

Dueling

A fencing match (Thomas Rowlandson, Metropolitan Museum of Art,)

On many occasions you may be required to defend your honour by offering and/or accepting a challenge to a duel. If so your order will need to include instructions on how you wish to fight the duel. An injured duellist1 may refuse to duel without penalty and his refusal satisfies the challenge.

A duellist needs to specify how he is planning to divide his expertise between attack and defence during the duel.

The duel proceeds in a sequence of rounds. In each round one of the duellists will be the attacker, the other the defender. The odds of a duellist being the attacker is determined by comparing the attack ratings of each duellist.

In each round the attacker rolls a die of the size of his attack rating, while the defender rolls a die of the size of his defence rating. The defender's score is subtracted from the attacker and the following table is consulted:

Attack roll - Defence rollCombat ResultComments
14 or moreDefender takes three times the attacker's strength score as damage and in every subsequent round the defender loses the attacker's strength in additional bleeding damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.The attacker has made a crippling wound on the defender.
9, 10, 11, 12 or 13Defender takes three times the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.The attacker has made a serious wound on the defender.
6, 7 or 8Defender takes three times the attacker's strength score as damage.The attacker has made deep, but non-crippling, would in the defender.
4 or 5Defender takes two times the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.A definite hit by the attacker that left the defender off balance
3Defender takes two times the attacker's strength score as damage.A definite hit by the attacker
2Defender takes the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.A hit by the attacker which left the defender off balance
1Defender takes the attacker's strength score as damage.A hit by the attacker
0NoneStand-off; Both duellists manoeuvre for position but neither gains an advantage
-1Attacker takes defender's strength as damage.Defender riposted the attacker lunge,
-2Defender's attack rating boosted by one in the next round.Defender blocked the attack.
-3Defender's attack rating boosted by 2 in the next round.Defender blocked the attack and placed the attacker in a disadvantageous position
-4 or lessDefender's attack rating boosted by 3 in the next round.Defender blocked the attack and placed the attacker in a disadvantageous position

The above table assumes that the attacker is using a rapier. There are similar tables for using a sabre (the regimental weapon of the Cuirassers and Dragoon Regiments) and for the cutlass (the regimental weapon of the Royal Marines).

Example

Isaac Iverson and Jack Antequtil meet on the duelling field (with seconds of course to ensure fair play. Isaac has an expertise of 11 and chooses to divide this as an attack of 8 and a defence of 3, while Jack goes for a simple split of 5 for each of attack and defence. Issac has a strength of 11 and an endurance of 176 while Jack has a strength of 10 and an endurance of 100.

Round 1

Isaac has a 8 in 13 chance of being the attacked (Jack has the other 5 in 13). A d13 is rolled and comes up with a 2 so Issac is the attacker. Issac rolls a d8 and scores a 3, while Jack rolls a d5 and scores a 1. The difference is +2 for a combat result of Defender takes the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.. Jack loses 11 points of endurance (leaving him with 89).

Round 2

Isaac is automatically the attacker in this round. Issac rolls a 4 on his attack dice of a d8. Jack rolls a 2 on his d5, so the combat result is again Defender takes the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.. Jack loses another 11 points of endurance leaving him on 78.

Round 3

Isaac is again automatically the attacker this round. Isaac rolls a 7 for the attacker while Jack rolls a 2 for the defence. With a difference of +5, the combat result is Defender takes two times the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round.. Jack takes another 22 points of damage to his endurance leaving him with 56 (still more than half his maximum endurance, if only just).

Round 4

Isaac continues to press the attack, rolling a 2, while Jack's defence is a 3. With a difference of -1, the combat result is Attacker takes defender's strength as damage. as Jack ripostes Isaac's attack. Isaac takes 10 points of damage leaving him with 166.

Round 5

As there is no automatic attacker this round, the d13 is rolled coming up with a 9 allowing Jack to attack. Jack rolls a d5 for his attack, scoring a 4. Isaac only put 3 points into his defence, so rolls a d3 for a roll of 2. The difference is +2 for a combat result of Defender takes the attacker's strength score as damage. Attacker will automatically be the attacker in the next round. so Isaac takes another 10 points of damage leaving his endurance on 156.

Round 6

Jack gets to press his attack. He rolls a 1 though. Isaac's defence of 3 manages to take advantage of the slip. The combat result is -2 or Defender's attack rating boosted by one in the next round..

Round 7

As Isaac's attack rating is temporarily increased to 9, he has a 9 in 14 chance of being the attacker. The d14 rolls a 10 however, so Jack is able to attack rather than defend. His attack roll (on the d5) is again a 1 while Isaac rolls a 2. The difference is -1, so Attacker takes defender's strength as damage. and Isaac's riposte scores 11 points of damage on Jack taking Jack to an endurance of 45. He is now under half health so he can (and does) surrender leaving the field.

Outcome of the example duel

Isaac won duel with only a minor scratch (which will take only a month to heal). The King's Musketeers and the 53rd Infantry are neutral to each other, so Isaac gains 2 status points for winning a duel. In addition his expertise increases to 12. Jack, on the other hand, has taken 55 points of damage. This will take 3 months to heal2. In addition he loses two status points for the lost duel. His expertise does not change.

Last updated: October 7, 2017 at 14:58 pm

Footnotes

  1. One whose current endurance is less than half of his maximum
  2. You heal half the damage in the first month and then your constitution in the subsequent months

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