Rude Slayings Revisited

dennis grace amazing at
Tue Oct 8 17:02:14 PDT 1996

Sir Lyonel here,

Many thanks to those who have already responded to my query concerning
so-called killing-from-behind (KFB) scenarios.  I can see by the last few
postings that I need to clarify a couple of items.  

Item One:  chicken-winging.  In order to explain the hideous practice known
to some as "chicken-winging," allow me to first explain what I recall as a
legal pin:

In any battle, whether KFB is allowed or not, assume the following scenario:
Fred and Ethel are both fighting for Kingdom Red, Duke Lucy is fighting for
Kingdom Green.  Ethel is faced off against Lucy when Fred comes up behind
said Duke.  Fred cannot get the Duke's attention, but he wishes to aid his
countryman.  Fred can "pin" Duke Lucy's sword or shield, thereby, making it
possible for Ethel to easily manage the killing blow.   

        *NOTA BENE*  The practice I am about to describe is disallowed and
can         injurious.

Chicken-winging is the practice of double pinning.  If Fred had grabed BOTH
Duke Lucy's sword and shield and pulled them back, or had another fighter
pulled back Duke Lucy's shield at the same time that Fred held back the
sword, the result would be one horribly defenseless Duke.  Where I come
from, we called this "chicken-winging" because of someone-er-other's analogy
with pinning the wings of a chicken in order to bone the bird.

Item Two:  the spin-and-whack.  I think Sir Keief and I were on separate but
similar wavelengths with regards to this practice.  

Sir Kief seems to be talking about the response of the accosted fighter.  In
other words, if Lloyd tapped Floyd on the shoulder and Floyd spun around,
blade leading, to strike without first making eye-contact Floyd would be
guilty of the offense Sir Kief references (NOTA BENE--once again, I'm
talking about things you should NOT do).  This is bad--reminds me of those
half-wits in the Rockies during deer season who shoot at rustling leaves.

I, on the other hand, was talking about an attack by the accosting fighter.
Consider the same scenario:  Lloyd comes up behind Floyd and taps him on the
shoulder.  (NOTA BENE--sorry to sound repetitious, but yes this is another
bad practice.  DO NOT DO THIS.)  As soon as Floyd turns far enough for Lloyd
to see the whites of his eyes, Lloyd whacks him. 

I mentioned my version of the spin-and-whack (which, to avoid confusion, I
will henceforth call premeditated blindsiding) because I think the non-KFB
scenario tends to breed this sort of response. Those strong adherents of the
non-KFB scenario, please allow me to support position.

One of the essential concepts of effective warfare--described by Socrates,
Sun Tsu, Wellington, Cromwell, and even Montgomery--is overwhelm and
devastate.  If you can double your opponent's numbers, says Suntsu, enfold
them; if you can triple their numbers, surround and crush them. 

In the non-KFB scenario, this option only exists if you can assure a
quickened kill by hitting an opponent from front and rear simultaneously.  I
know of only one LEGAL option:  get a line of men in the rear to pin as many
opponents as possible.  Since every fighter in the rear line knows that they
can strike as soon as they engage the enemy, however, the premeditated
blindside seems to proliferate rapidly as as method of choice among
inexperienced fighters hoping to tally an impressive body count.

Personally, I agree with Sir Gunthar, in a properly marshalled KFB scenario,
the devastation that can be wrought by a small number of fighters behind
enemy lines is realistically impressive.  I know of no way to accomplish a
similar effect in the non-KFB scenario.  I would, however, be more than a
little interested to hear any similarly efficacious strategic variants
anyone on this list can suggest.

I apologize for any errors you may find couched in this missive,
but--y'know--gotta get to fighter practice.  Until I can add more of
interest to this discussion, je reste

Le Votre

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace

Dennis G. Grace
Assistant Instructor
Postmodern Medievalist
Division of Rhetoric and Composition
University of Texas

Baro, metetz en guatge                    |  Lords, pawn your castles,
Chastels e vilas e ciutatz                |  your towns and cities.
Enanz qu'usquecs no'us guerreiatz         |  Before you're beat to the draw,
                                                    draw your swords.

                   -- Bertran de Born (a really fun Viscount)

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