A formal game played in Amtgard, usually with some form of objective.
the Glossary says A game in which fighting classes (and possibly monsters) are used.
See Types of Battlegames for more information
During class battles, prisoners may be taken by surrendering or by being rendered “unconscious” by a killing blow (torso or second limb shot) preceded by the word “subdue.” The person will then be unconscious for 60 seconds. The prisoner may be subdued up to 5 times. Any more hits will result in his death. Armor negates a subdual blow and instead takes damage as normal from the blow. If this damage is sufficient to pass through the armor, then the target is still affected by the subdual blow. A Subdual blow striking a person who is unaffected by Subdual does not wound or kill. Stabbing-only weapons or stabbing with a slashing weapon may not be used to subdue. A subdual blow to a limb will render that limb useless for a 60 count. A prisoner’s equipment must be kept within 10 ft. of him and cannot be destroyed. Rescued prisoners must still count the required time before they are considered recovered. Subdual blows cannot be healed.
Deaths And Lives
Immediately remove yourself from impeding play on the battlefield once you have died. If you want to get into the spirit of things, then fall down and scream. Make it dramatic. Reeves may give you a bonus for a good death. Then report to Nirvana. The reeve in charge there will take your name and record your time. Deaths are for 5 minutes though a bonus will subtract 2 minutes and a penalty will add 2 minutes. The number of lives you get varies with level and class. You are out of a battle once you have expended your last life and left the field. When returning to life from nirvana you must return to your base and announce ‘Alive’ so that it is audible out to 50 feet before reentering the battle. Dead persons on the field must hold their weapons over their heads. If the battlegame does not call for a nirvana reeve, one must sit down in nirvana for a 300 count before returning to life at one’s base. Most battlefield effects will not work on a dead person once he has left of his own choice from where he died, with the obvious exception of not impeding play. Effects that will function on dead players who have moved from where they died are noted as doing so in their descriptions. Dead players (provided they are not affecting or impeding play) may stay on the field as long as they want. A person may voluntarily take a game death at any time, but must immediately go to nirvana and may not be raised from the dead in any manner unless Summon Dead is cast upon them first. Dead players may not move if they are currently the target of a magic or ability that affects dead players such as Steal Life or Resurrect.
When a hold is called all players must stay where they are and be quiet. No tactical maneuvering is allowed and weapons may only be collected if a reeve gives permission. If you really do get hurt, yell “hold.” Remove yourself from the battle and reenter behind your own lines once you have recovered. Deliberate faking of a game death or real injury is not allowed. Battlefield participants should only call a hold for injuries or when a potentially dangerous situation arises such as a seven year old child straying onto the battlefield. If you are involved in a dispute then go find a reeve or remove yourselves from the field until the issue is resolved.
1 Switching classes or sides during a battlegame is not allowed unless specified by the scenario or by a reeve.
2 Never handle anyone’s personal property without first having their permission.
3 There cannot be more than 1 bow to every 5 people on a side – round fractions up.
4 Each side may only have one wizard, Healer, Druid and Bard per ten people, rounding fractions up. Therefore, a team with seventeen people may have no more than two of each magic-using class.
5 Players who break the rules may be removed from the game by a reeve.
The following activities are strictly forbidden:
Manoeuvring or engaging during a hold.
Striking at reeves or non-combatants.
Calling a hold to retrieve spent items or derive other advantages.
Trying to influence a game while you are dead.
Deliberately mimicking an ability that you do not currently have, such as casting a “pretend” Finger of Death as a barbarian. Grand standing and bluffing is fine, as long as it can’t be confused with a real ability.
Deliberately mimicking an ability that you do have, such as pretending to cast a spell but using the wrong wording.
Using rules loopholes or grey areas to derive an advantage on the battlefield.
While not absolutes, the following conditions have stood the test of time and should be observed:
1 Do not use a hold to gather or retain spent equipment or valuable game items. A reeve or the other team may grant a person the opportunity to pick up spent equipment if they are simply asked.
2 Do not use a hold to avoid a death or get out of a bad situation.
3 While it is honourable to return the other team’s spent equipment (magical balls, weapons, expended arrows, etc.), it is not mandatory. Don’t delay or stop play to return equipment. Similarly, don’t attack someone who is being kind enough to return your own team’s items.
4 As stated before, players should remove themselves from the field when discussing disputed blows or rules. This is not always practical in the immediate heat of the moment. If you see a dispute, do not engage or strike at those involved. By the same token, don’t use the excuses of returning equipment, a headshot, or resolving a dispute to save yourself when the enemy has you dead in his sights. Example: You are accidentally struck in the face, and simultaneously cleaved in two from behind by another opponent; you are still dead.
Here follows some restrictions and guild-lines for garb taken directly from the rulebook
Each class has its own particular garb parameters. In addition, there are certain other garb elements that denote special positions. Note that all battlefield participants must be in “period” garb (tunic, robe, Armor, etc.):
1) White belts (any belt more than 25% white), unadorned chains, and spurs are reserved for knights and may not be worn by others.
A knight may also choose to trim a knight's white belt with a color particular to that order of knighthood: Gold for Knight of the Crown, Silver for Knight of the Sword, Red for Knight of the Flame, and Green for Knight of the Serpent.
2) Red belts (any belt more than 50% red) are generally only worn by squires.
3) Black belts with silver trim are generally only worn by men-at arms.
4) The Phoenix is the symbol of Amtgard. White and Black Phoenixes are reserved for knights. Gold Phoenix on red background is reserved for Warlord. Otherwise, the phoenix is generally only worn as part of kingdom heraldry.
5) A diagonal slash of a guild’s distinct colour, worn on a belt, baldric or tunic, is the mark of a class master.
6) Guildmasters are entitled to wear favours marked with the symbol of their guild.
8) Most companies and many individuals choose to register their personal symbols and colours. While not specifically disallowed, it is
considered bad form to use another’s coat of arms without his agreement. Personal symbols and colours should be registered with the
Guildmaster of Heraldry and the Prime Minister.
9) Single color belt favors are indicative of a fighter’s relative standing within the fraternity of Order of the Warrior.
10) The garb of a page is a yellow belt (not a sash as per wizard) and is generally not worn by others. A non-fighting page must also
wear a gold “enchantment” strip if on the field.
11) The use and application of good garb is important in creating the correct mood of the Amtgard battlegames and events. All
members must be garbed in a “period” fashion. Newcomers should have their own garb (and weapons) within a month of having
first attended Amtgard. It is easy and inexpensive to fashion a T-tunic or Tabard, and plenty of people are willing to help. If you have questions about garb or any area of the rules, then all you have to do is ask.
12) For the purpose of determining what class people are playing, class sashes must run diagonally across the chest from one shoulder
to the opposite hip. They must be at least two inches wide. You may not wear sashes for Class you are not currently playing.
Paladin and Anti-Paladin symbols must be at least 5 inches by 5 inches.
If you do not want to fight but wish to participate in a battlegame there are a few classes that do so:
Reeve – The garb is a gold tunic, headband, or Sash. The reeve is a referee for the battlegame. The reeve should be impartial, fair, have a good eye, and be well versed in the rules. The reeve has the last say in any decision in a battlegame. The reeves do not fight and should not be purposefully hit or touched in an offensive manner. The Guildmaster of Reeves shall deal with biased, unfair, or incompetent reeves.
Page – Garb consisting of his master’s device is optional. Non-fighting pages may retrieve spent equipment, but may not retrieve or carry new or extra equipment. Must wear a gold Ribbon around right wrist.
Colour – Garb is encouraged. It is not a class, yet includes everyone else who wishes to participate in the mood and ambiance of Amtgard. Examples include minstrels, water bearers, serpent knights, and many others.
– Artisans, smiths, garbers, etc.
See Gaming Guide