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 Post subject: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:40 am 
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More of a philosophical question than a technical one, but does any one know why the foot on ground is not a legal target area? Besides the fact that the rules say so. My best speculation is that it was put in place to make life harder for spears, and possibly some safety concerns about spears targeting feet and jamming toes, but I find this pretty shaky.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:12 am 
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The foot on ground rule is not in place to nerf spears so much as it is an anti-cheese rule. If a spearman could leg opponents by going down the line stabbing the front of feet, it would be a ridiculous advantage.

That's the short and sweet of it. If you need further clarification please update your original post.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:18 pm 
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if it's an anti-cheese technique then I'd call that nerfing something.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Nerfing has a negative connotation, so I was leading away from using the term to avoid a "why do people hate spearmen" conversation.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:16 am 
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No, it's called making the game better/more fun/more realistic. In medieval combat, do you think they went around trying to slice each others' toes off as a primary means of attack? Seriously, think about what this game would be like if foot on ground and hand on weapon were legal targets.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:33 am 
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its also the fact that it causes a lot of confusion, how many times have you swung low and not known if you hit ground or foot? Most vets don't run into this problem, but new guys have no idea. They swing they hit the ground and get * off cause no one is taking their swings get * off and leave.. or worse start soemthing stupid.

Theres many reasons for why its done the way it is. But the reason its still there is really now just because its always been there and doesn't cause a problem so its a good rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:33 pm 
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In with Varadin. It's hard to tell if your strike hit foot or ground. Same with hand on weapon. Was it the hand or the weapon? It's a playability rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:16 am 
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First comment, I'm only really interested in foot on ground. Hand on weapon is a separate concern that I'm actually pretty okay with, mostly because I don't want to have to try to build a guard that passes check on to all of my weapons. I'm okay with just assuming that I, and every one else, has one. So hand on weapon isn't really what I wanted to debate here. That said, some replies to specific posts.

Brutus - No, I don't think they went around and did that, because it's a terrible idea. No one here has suggested that you could only attack the foot or the hand. There is a strong difference between what is legal and what actually happens. I mean, if the rule was changed I suppose you could make that your personal style, but I don't think you would survive long into any battles. So if the rule was changed I doubt the game would change all that much. At most, spearmen might aim a little lower and those on the line might need to improve their footwork a little. I consider neither of those things to be game breaking.

Thurat - I suppose this might be a problem if the line couldn't move, but couldn't this issue be avoided by the people on the line having good footwork?

Varadin - Your argument doesn't really apply, because the rules are already set up to deal with exactly this. It doesn't matter whether or not I as the striker can tell if a shot hits foot or ground, it only matters if my opponent feels a solid strike to a legitimate target area. Whether or not I can tell is just a bonus because I trust my opponent to have good honor and take the hits they feel. Now, if they can't tell whether a shot hit their foot or the ground, then they should probably go see a doctor. As for any confusion on my part as the attacker, if I disagree with the call they made, that's just the way the game goes and I have to deal with it the same way I deal with it whenever I think they didn't actually get their shield in place in time. Namely I can A) ask a herald to watch next time, B) throw cleaner (and in the specific case of foot shots, higher) shots, or C) shrug, remember it's a game, and move on with my life.

That said, during the span of four years that I practiced padded weapon combat with full body as target, the number of times I mistook a ground shot for a foot shot was sufficiently low that I can't even remember if it ever happened. And those were the first four years I had ever done any sort of sword combat, so if I was going to make the mistake, it would have been then.

Finally, I personally am of the opinion that, "[it] doesn't cause a problem so its a good rule," is a pretty lax standard, especially in this subforum. I think I can safely say that we all enjoy this game and want it to be the best it can be, so I personally would like to think that we are all trying to develop the best rules, rather than just ones that don't cause issues. ::Gets off soapbox::

Derian - See initial comments and comments to Varadin. Again, I've never had any issues with telling ground strikes from foot strikes, as I can generally feel the difference in the impact, but mostly the fact that I can tell doesn't matter. So the playability concerns aren't really there, as I can see.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:50 am 
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Random contribution:
If foot is a valid target and people start swinging in that area, there is also slightly increased potential for catastrophic failure from weapons being stepped on.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:36 pm 
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I always assumed that part of the rule was because many folks wear heavy boots, which would make noticing a foot shot problematic. Add that to shots clipping the ground (and robbing them of force) making shots light (but feels fine to the thrower), seems like it's way more hassle drama-wise than it's worth. Also as Magpie said.

(As an aside, yay for feet not being a target, from those of us who fight barefooted or in sandals.)

Hideshi, perhaps I missed it, but have you advanced a reason why the rule should be changed? You say that Varadin's statement is a lazy standard, but is there a positive reason the rule should be different? I put forward that it works as-is ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it").

As an aside of anecdotal evidence, I've had various occasions when something hit my foot, and I had no idea what it was (javelin on ground, skipping arrow, missed polearm, or someone bumping my foot). People miss arrow shots that hit them because they don't see it; few people stare at their feet in combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:31 pm 
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Magpie Saegar wrote:
Random contribution:
If foot is a valid target and people start swinging in that area, there is also slightly increased potential for catastrophic failure from weapons being stepped on.

not just from being stepped on but from people repeatedly slamming the tip of the weapon in the ground to try and hit toes. I feel that the rule makes things run smoother in large melees. In addition the foot is full of smaller bones ( like a hand) so having people start aim for those bones seems like a bad call?

Also, just because you haven't had a personal issue with telling the difference doesn't mean that having the rule is unneeded. i can think of one time in my 10+ years that i have been struck with a pommel. That doesn't mean i am in favor of getting rid of pommel rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:55 pm 
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Magpie Saegar - This may be true, but it rather hinges on people starting to intentional swing for their opponent's foot. Again, while you can make this your personal style, I have yet to hear of any one that would encourage this as a viable style so the risk, in my admittedly wildly speculative estimate, does not seem terribly increased from the current situation.

Rasheab - While heavy boots may have been part of the original reason, it strikes me as somewhat odd that it's assumed you can feel a good hit through full plate, but not a heavy boot. I wear hardened leather armor, and I imagine that would present more of an issue that a heavy boot, so why is there a rule in one case but not the other? As for drama, perhaps it would occur this way on occasion, but I think hitting the ground first would feel sufficiently different that one would not be overly surprised by your target calling "light." Further, given the general frequency of "foot on ground" calls to start with, I would guess that such cases would crop up infrequently enough to not significantly add to the overall drama. Especially in comparison to, oh say, taking red hits on shields (but that's a whole different kettle of fish). Also as an aside, I too, fight barefooted.

As for why the rule should be changed, I have not advocated any particular reasons yet. Personally, I have rather faint hopes of the rule actually changing, simply because trying to do so would incite a ridiculous amount of drama from the community at large, which would likely parrot your, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," argument almost word for word and then completely ignore me. I'm also slightly cynical of human nature, in case you couldn't tell.

However, I also personally think that rules in rule sets should have a purpose. After all, if a rule doesn't have a purpose, why is it a rule in the first place? Further, I think people tend to have more fun when there are fewer rules. I can think of few people that are excited by being told they can't do something. The other major reason is that I think it will lead to less drama overall, since people won't have to make judgements about whether it was a foot strike or an ankle strike. I know I've seen a lot of drama over whether a strike was in an inclusive zone or an exclusive zone (and I'm sure I'm not the only one), so I think anything to cut down on those debates is a good thing.

Ultimately, this rule just feels unneeded to me, so I would be in favor of cutting it. It simplifies the rules, removes a weird edge case that has, in my opinion, no reason to exist, and it makes for less confusion since you don't have to have any internal debate over where precisely something hit in at least one more case.

As a second aside, this is precisely why archers are allowed to call their shots, because people miss them.

JoeMick - Again, who is, "repeatedly slamming the tip of the weapon in the ground," to try and hit people's feet? If you are doing that, then it is your own fault for not taking care of your weapons. Likewise, I seriously question people aiming for feet with any regularity. At least, not if they want to stay alive very long. That said, I'm not a doctor, but I would be surprised if foot injuries suddenly eclipsed any other sort of injuries in term of frequency.

Why do you feel the rule makes large melees run smoother?

While I concede that anecdotal evidence is so weak as to not deserve the title of, "evidence," in this case what I am really trying to do is provoke out some solid, hard evidence against my experience (rather than conjecture), since I am somewhat incredulous that it exists. That said, the anecdotal evidence was a secondary refutation of an argument that I think I have already shown doesn't apply. To restate, it doesn't matter if you, as the attacker, can tell if you hit foot or ground, since your opponent makes the determination and then you trust his/her honor. As for pommels, well, I know I've taken more than one pommel hit in my fighting career and I'd still be up for debate on pommel rule reform. But that's another topic for another thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:02 pm 
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So get with your WC rep and propose a rule. Don't debate it here on the boards that maybe 1% see. Go to FB and spread the good news. If you don't like something, go ahead and try to change it. In this sport you have that option. Exercise it.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:13 pm 
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The fact that there has been a conversation here on the topic is reason enough to post it here. The boards are better archived and better organized than the dozens of Facebook pages out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:02 pm 
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Here is why the foot on ground rule exists.

1.) Safety issues - Swinging at someone's foot on purpose has about as much damage capability as swinging for the hand on purpose. The bones of the foot are just about as strong. Also swinging at someone's foot causes the weapons to break down much faster. This can cause core exposure and result if a failed weapon or worse someone gets injured because the the tip blowing out because some one was hitting the ground with it trying to cut off toes.

2.) Playability issue - The foot is actually a very easy target to hit. This would give spears and pole arms a very large advantage. For good fighters in general it would make killing opponents that are armored very easy completely negating most armor. I know of only one fighter who actually wears armor over his boots. I will just echo what Derian and Varadin already stated about how hand on weapon and foot on ground are similar here too.

3.) Realism - I know a bunch of people who don't have toes one foot or the other and they have no problems getting around. I actually know one fighter who doesn't even have legs at all that fights to be honest and he gets around great without them. It's not fatal under normal circumstances. Bleed out is more than likely not going to happen either, because there are very few large veins or arteries in the foot. Most you are going to do to them is force them to use a peg leg from there on out or a shorter shoe size.

Bottom line and argue how ever you like but foot on ground is a rule because having it as a valid target area fails the three fundamentals. That is why the rule exists. It's about as safe as smashing someones hand, it's too easy of a target to hit, and it wouldn't slow the viking about to smash your head in very much as it will take a very long time for him to bleed out or die of infection. Might just * him off more. I find it interesting you're okay with hand on weapon the way it is but not foot on ground considering they have almost the same safety, playability, and realism issues.

Honestly I have no idea why this even is up for debate, but things like making safety equipment and/or medical equipment meet minimum garb standards is taboo.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Orokusan - I originally posted to see if there was a valid reason. After all, it would not do to convince my WC rep only to make him look like an idiot because another WC rep has a very solid reason. This seemed like the best place.

Kage - 1) I'm not a doctor, or any one with any sort of anatomical expertise, so I can't really comment on damage potential of the feet. I will leave that to those with actual training or expertise in that area. That said, might I then inquire whether your assertions are based on speculation/hearsay or true training/knowledge? I don't know you, so I really just don't know. As for weapon breakdown, it is certainly possible, however, this again must take into consideration frequency of foot shots being thrown. After all, while those shots may increase the speed of breakdown, if they are only thrown once or twice a practice it should not be noticeable beyond regular wear and tear. As mentioned previously, if you make your style all feet all day, then you might notice it more, but I suspect you would also spend a lot of practice dead which should compensate.

2) On what do you base this statement on the ease for hitting a foot? I am basing my statement of several years of combat in which the foot was a legal target and if it was hit, it was so infrequent as to be negligible. As for negating armor, the simple solution would be to wear foot armor. At the moment, foot armor isn't necessary and it adds an additional expense, so it isn't used. The same reason no one wears a helmet if there aren't any archers. So this isn't really a valid argument, since the solution to this "problem" already exists.

3) Realism in Bel is, in my personal opinion, a complete joke. If we were to strictly enforce this, then shoulder wraps would be illegal. I have yet to feel a shoulder wrap that would immediately drop me and render me incapable of continuing to fight. They suffer from the exact same problems that you list for a foot shot. If I only took shots that would actually inflict crippling or fatal damage, I would be kicked off any field by the heralds after about 3 fights for blatant and repeated rhinohiding. Further, flails would just have to plain be illegal, but that is neither here nor there. So, unless shoulder wraps are also illegal in the rules somewhere (and I'm pretty should they aren't), then as far as "realism" goes, foot shots are entirely consistent with other accepted shots.

As stated, I clearly disagree that it fails the three fundamentals. I will possibly concede safety, if there is some actual authority or actual evidence to it rather than just pure speculation and fearmongering. Hand on weapon is purely me being too lazy to attach proper guards to my swords. I have no good reasons for hand on weapon being a rule either. But again, that is not the point of this thread. if you want to debate that, make a new thread! That's what this board is here for.

As for the reason this is up for debate there are several reasons. First was to see if there actually was some reason for the rule. This thread did start off in rule questions, and then spiraled out as people gave incomplete or unsatisfactory answers. Another was to possibly use this as a springboard for a larger debate on the design of rules. While I think we all agree on "Safety, Playability, Realism," being the most basic of tests for a rule, actually designing rules may require more. For instance, do we want a simple ruleset, or one that covers as many of the possibilities as possible? The answer to that question can have a large impact on how the rules are designed. Third, I wanted to see what the general temperament was with regards to significant changes to thoroughly accepted rules. Would most appear to respond as you did, questioning why this was even up for debate, or would people actually engage with and consider the question? After all, if it was the former than there was little in continuing to question other rules.

As for my generally why it is up for debate, shouldn't all the rules be up for debate? Isn't that the best way to improve things, to debate and discuss until the best option is discovered? Or should we meekly accept that this is the best things are going to get with this game and the only thing remaining is a slow stagnation as nothing ever changes? Consider just how much this game has changed since the start. Weapon tech has improved considerably and the quality of the fighters has (presumably) improved as well. We are entirely different people fighting with totally different weapons from the people and weapons that the original rules covered. I think that questioning those rules and asking whether or not they are still valid is not only a legitimate activity, but one that should be done more frequently. ::Gets off soapbox:: Anyway, that's just my opinion on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:31 pm 
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I find it dubious to say that the feet are more likely to be injured by a sword or spear than by another fighter stepping on them, especially when wearing minimalist or no shoes at all.

It still seems to me that polearms could exploit the feet if they were a legal target, but I think the best thing to do would be to play test it. I would take this back to your local realm and try it out during battles where the tight quarters of a large line fight are closely approximate, such as during a bridge battles, and then report back your findings on it. I would encourage everyone else with a sizable enough group to do the same.

Speculation only goes so far. Sometimes things just need to be done.

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 Post subject: Re: Foot on Ground
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:52 pm 
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1.) I'm in the medical field with plans to M.D. so I do have that anatomical expertise. Making the foot a legal target would encourage people to swing for it. I would make an educated guess that the most common injury would be sprain ankles. I don't see how the adjustment from lower leg to upper foot and ankle would cause me to die more through out the practice though.

2.) 15 years of fighting over here myself and I never remember a time when the foot was a legal target area while on the ground. I find it really easy to hit, especially with a pole arm which is why I echoed Thurat. I know plenty of fighters who wear a helmet archers or not on the field. So if I wanted to use your logic there it completely invalidates your argument. In addition just following the flow of that logic about how they should just "wear foot armor" I could say just aim a little higher, and the other guy won't tell you "foot on ground."

3.) The shoulder wrap can actually be pretty devastating in reality, and one might be able to argue that it's more so than the foot. There are numerous muscles in there all of which are support and mobility. Lets say for the sake of argument and ease of location that the deltoid was severed. You would not be able to lift that arm it was connected to very much if at all. It doesn't take much to target the deltoid as its one of the larger and is the most superficial of the shoulder muscles. Lets talk about a couple of back muscles right quick while we're here. The trapezius and rhomboideus (both minor and major; it looks like one for the most part because they are fused together by fascia) are also the the most superficial of those upper back muscles. Also if they are cut you lose the ability to lift or rotate the arm for the most part and you lose some of your neck movements. I have personally seen them cut and the shoulder of a cadaver almost come apart because the support structure was gone. Chances are a wrap shot to your shoulder would handicap you significantly more because of the salvage needed to make it work properly again (think rotator cuff tear vs Achilles tear), and even more so if the shot was adjusted to hit in the neck or base of skull. That's where I would really throw the shot if I lived back then. Honestly I would take the leap of faith and say that we throw it to the shoulder instead of the neck or base of skull because the head and neck are illegal targets for melee weapons in Bel. I sited a fighter who fights as a double amputee, and it's my honest opinion that had it been his arms he wouldn't be fighting.

I don't know you either, but considering you only have 5 posts and years of experience I have a hard time believing those years were spent in Bel. I gave you straight answers as to why feet on ground don't count. You can disagree all you want; we don't grow as a sport otherwise. Safety is a general concern for pretty much everyone here. Hand on weapon is pretty much a safety reason and a playability reason as has been stated already (yeah people. I doubt hand on weapon would ever really come up for debate unless we started requiring safety gloves of some sort. Temperament on this will probably have most people erring on the safety sides of things. Just the threat of an increased rate of sprain ankles or possible fracture will generally give you the same response. I have been a proponent of making safety equipment meet minimum garb standards for years and it's still not a thing and it doesn't really hurt anyone's safety. Trust me trying to change somethings in this sport has about as much success as trying to ice skate up a 90 degree ice wall. I'm not telling you not to try and improve things, because the sport won't grow otherwise. I just don't see this particular issue going anywhere brother. I will tell you the same thing as Oroku though. If you want it changed bring it up with your WC rep to have it changed. Chances are it will get voted down because I think the majority of the community believes the rule is valid and has it's place.

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