Lukrain's Guide to Boffers

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Combat Games

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Combat Games

There are many different boffer games you may wish to play that allow for several different weapons and tactics. Here is a list of some of those games.

Since the boffer community is rather spread out, if your group plays a game that is not listed here feel free to email me with the game rules and I'll post it.

Most games can use either simple or complex rules unless otherwise noted. You must choose which rule set before the battle. Players are allowed any weapon of their choice unless otherwise noted.

Some games have variants which are small exceptions to the rules to form a slightly different game. The variants do not have to be used.

This is your standard game play. One person versus another person. You play until one person dies. Whoever lives is the winner. Pretty simple.

Last Man Standing
The play starts with each person equidistant from everyone else. When the game begins, everyone begins to attack everyone else. Play continues until only one person is alive. Whoever is the last man standing wins the game. No alliances are allowed to be made. Variant: Of course you can allow alliances, but it usually becomes unfair.

Round Robin
This method works best with 5 to 10 people. Each person fights everyone else once. Whoever has the most victories in the end wins. In the advent of a tie, have a last man standing. This method is the best way to determine who is the most skilled one-on-one fighter.

Team Combat
Two captains are chosen at random. These two captains alternate choosing a person from the remaining group to be on their team. When the choosing is finished each team groups together a good distance from the other team. When the game starts both teams attack each other. Play continues until one team is totally killed. Whichever team is left wins. (This game can be played with more than just 2 teams of course.) Variant: You can use any method to choose your teams and captains.

First Blood
First blood is a very formal game variation for the noblemen. It's played one-on-one, each person wields a one handed sword of equal size and length of their opponent. They start at five feet away and begin combat. The first hit scored anywhere wins the game. Variant: You may want to make it the first valid hit.

Vital Shot
This game can be played with two or more players. At the beginning or each round, each player picks a vital section of their body from the list (Head and Neck, Body, Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, or Right Leg) That is then written down in secret. The only way to kill someone is to hit them in their specified vital area. All other hits are not counted. If a player takes a non vital hit they must say where the hit occured, and that it had no effect.

The game is set up where all players have a shield and a one-handed sword. Much of the body is invalid including below the hips, the groin, the head and neck, and the arms below the shoulder. Thusly, you can only receive a hit that targets your torso area front or back. The game is a last man standing type game.

For those of you who don't mind some dangerous pain, the Highlander games focuses strictly on head and neck shots. The only part of your body that is valid is the head and neck, if you are hit there you die. You may want to wear some head and neck armor if you are foolish enough to play this game! Because this game is dangerous enough, you may want to only allow one-on-one game play. Just remember, there can be only one!

Full Contact
Full contact is another game for those who are gluttons for punishment. This game is much safer when played one-on-one, but if you're crazy play it last man standing. The variant rules are that hits are only counted if they are hit hard, in other wards, full contact. Normal "pulled hits", grazes, and glancing blows do not count. This creates a much more life-like battle, complete with the common occurrence of injuries.

Porcupines is an interesting last man standing battle of archers. The only allowed weapon is the bow and arrow. Each player starts out at 20 feet away from every other player, with an arrow pre-nocked, and no more than two extra arrows on their person. All arrows may be reused off the ground. Play continues until only one person remains.

Snowball Fight
This is a simple last man standing where the only weapon is rocks (that's padded foam, not real rocks). Each player is assigned a rock at the beginning of the battle and spreads out 20 feet away from everyone else. When battle starts, the rocks start flying. You may pick up any one else's rock and use it as well. Last man standing wins.

Kill the King
This game uses any number of teams with any amount of players. One person on each team is considered the king (or queen). The king must stand out in some way whether it be a crown, herald, etc. If the king dies he must shout out that he's dead and all the players on his team dies as well. The team who's king is the last standing wins. Variation: Keep the king unknown to the other team. You must guess as to who the king is and try and take them down.

Healers is a team battle with any number of teams with any number of players. In each team one player is considered a healer. The healer cannot use weapons. The bonus of the healer, is that they can fully heal any dead or injured warrior by simply touching them. The healer cannot heal his or her self.

Down with the Giants
Play with any number of player, but one out of every five players is a giant. A giant can take a total of five hits without injury before they die. So even if they take a leg hit, they are still fine. On the fifth hit, they die. The battle is team battle with the giants as a team and everyone else as another.

Team Champions
Champions is a team battle with any number of teams with any number of players. In each team one player is considered the champion. The champion gets five total hits without injury before death. If a team's champion dies, the entire team loses.

Hunt the Fox
One person is the fox and must run and hide. After a designated time (five minutes or so) the rest of the players (the hunters) go and hunt the fox. Only the hunter who kills the fox is the winner. However, the fox is also armed and can be the winner if it kills all the hunters (or if the hunters kill themselves).

Mad Dash
Mad dash can be played with any number of players. You will need one weapon for each player and only one. Take all the weapons and put them into a pile. All players form a circle around the pile an equal distance away from it. When the game starts everyone makes a mad dash for the weapons. Players may pick up as many as they can hold, but when they die they must drop all their weapons and anyone can pick them up.

Any number of two-man teams are allowed. Each player is tied to the leg or arm of their partner. This bond cannot be broken even if the other team member dies. Battle continues until only one team remains.

Fetch works best with 5 to 10 people. One player is the thrower the rest are the fetchers. All fetchers start in a line 5 feet apart from each other. The thrower stands five feet behind them. The thrower then tosses a rock over their heads as far as he or she can. When the rock hits the ground the thrower shouts 'GO' and the fetchers can begin to move (false starters die instantly). Their job is to fetch the rock and bring it back to the thrower. (The rock must be placed in the throwers hand, not tossed to him or her.) The fetchers are fully allowed to kill and/or maim each other.

One out of every four players is a ghoul. Ghouls fight like normal, but if they die they come back to life in ten seconds after they hit the ground. If a player is killed by a ghoul, they fall to the ground and are now considered a ghoul as well and will rise in ten seconds. The last living player wins. You may want to have a way to determine ghouls from the living, like a colored sash (when you become a ghoul, you put the clothing on). "Baby sitting" ghouls or standing over their corpse is not permitted.

Necromancer is a very interesting game involving treason and should be played with twenty or more players. Two teams are made, a team of peasants and a team of zombies. One out of every five peasants is a zombie. Before combat begins all the peasants draw a piece of paper from a hat. One piece of paper has the word "necromancer" on it. Whoever gets the necromancer is secretly on the team of the zombies. One zombie looks at each peasants paper to find out who the necromancer is and tells the other zombies (the peasants should never know which one is the necromancer). Battle then begins. When anyone dies, peasant or zombie, they fall to the ground. The necromancer can "raise" them by touching their chest or back. Anyone raised is now a zombie and fights for the zombie team. If the peasants figure out who the necromancer is and kills him or her all the other zombies die and the peasant team wins. If the necromancer and his zombies succeed in converting all the peasants they win.

Bridge Battle
Bridge Battles are team games with any amount of players. You must destroy the opposing team just like a normal team battle, but the trick is that your are on a bridge and can fall into the waters below. See the diagram for a visual layout. You are safe to stand on the land or the bridge, but if any part of your body touches the water are, you are instantly killed (i.e. fell off the bridge). Water can be made by laying two large blue tarps on the ground, or by staking a rope to the ground. Variant: The team who makes it to the other side of the bridge first wins.

Weapon's Combat
In this game each player can get killed up to four times. Each time the person dies, they must switch a weapon type to one they haven't used yet. The types allowed are two swords, sword and shield, two-handed sword, and player's pick. (Player's pick must be something different from the other three, but can be any non-ranged weapon, staff, axe, etc.) To start, place all the players in a line and pick the first two players. The first person must pick his weapon choice, the second must pick from the remaining choices. They then fight. The loser goes to the back of the line, and can no longer choose that weapon type again. The next person in line picks their choice of weapon type from the the remaining three choices. Play continues like this until only one person remains. Because there are four battles for every person, you may want to limit the amount of people playing to around six or less. Variant: Let the opponent choose which weapon you get to use.

Breakthrough and Conquer
Breakthrough and Conquer is a team game where you attempt to conquer the opponent's flag by breaking through their defenses. The playing field is setup much like a football field. View this image of the field to better understand the rules. The size is relative to the number of players you have. For smaller numbers use feet, for larger numbers, use yards. Rope off the area or mark the playing field in some other way. Players are not allowed to leave the playing field or they die. Both teams start at their flag pole. When the game starts they advance towards each other team's flag, fighting each other along the way. When a player dies they must take their weapon with them and run back to their team's spawn line and touch it to "resurrect" themselves to go back to fighting. Dead players must keep one arm above their head to show that they have been slain and cannot attack anyone. If a player ever touches the opponent's flag with their hand, that team wins.

Capture the Flag
This is an old game, but still a classic. The rules of Capture the Flag are changed a bit, but the spirit is the same. The game is played in a playing field with lots of visual obstructions like a forest or a warehouse. The playing field is divided in half, here's an image. Before the game starts, each team places their flag somewhere on their side of the field. Nobody is allowed to leave their side of the field yet. Once both flags are placed the game begins. To win you have to find your opponent's flag and bring it to your side of the field without getting killed. Combat ensues just like normal, except when you die you have to run back to your spawn pole to "resurrect" yourself. Dead players must keep one hand above their head at all times. Flags must be placed on a pole and stuck in the ground. You are not allowed to move any living plants to hide your flag, but dead plants and fallen trees are allowed.

Kill the Killer - (Aaron Daniel Ames)
This game gets hectic fast and doesn't always end easily. It's a last-man-standing with a twist. Everyone starts in a circle with whatever weapon they want. If you die go to the sidelines and watch the person that killed you. If your killer dies, you come back to life. The only way the game can end is if one person is able to kill everyone in a row. It's also a good idea to know who's killed who to prevent a large quantity of people from coming back to gang up on you.

Bull in the Ring - (Brendan)
A fun game for about 4 to 10. Everyone forms a large ring (bull fighters), and one player is selected to be the bull. Each player from the outer ring comes in to fight the bull one-on-one. If the bull survives all the fighters he or she wins, if the bull loses, whoever killed the bull becomes the new bull. In order to give the bull a sporting chance, it always regenerates damaged limbs after every round and the may have special powers as seen in the variants. Variant 1: If the bull is able to stay alive for 1 minute, he or she automatically wins the round. Variant 2: The bull can only be killed from a torso shot, while the fighters are be killed on any legal area.

Amtgard Jugging
See their jugging homepage for the rules of play.

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