*Meanwhile, in a parallel universe where Andy understands the melee rules, the fight plays out like this…*

The knights, Alphonse and Bertrand, advance to contact. Alphonse engages Alexa and Gottfried, while Bertrand bears down on Johann. The active side chooses the sequence in which to conduct melee. Alphonse goes first, for no very good reason. Alphonse is Rep 5, and Elite Trained, so he has 5d6 basic and must pass at least 1d6. He is protected vs his opponent’s weapons, since his AC is at least their Impact, so gets +1d6. He is also on a larger base (because he’s on a horse), another +1d6. He is however outnumbered, which is -1d6. He will roll 6d6 for melee and counts shield dice because he has a shield. Gottfried is Rep 4 (4d6), with no modifiers. So is Alexa. Alphonse rolls 2, 5, 3, 3, 2, 6, passing 5 dice (i.e. 4 of those scores are 3 or less) and counting one shield die (the 6), which he can use to cancel one enemy success not matched by one of his own successes. This will not be required.

Alexa rolls 2, 4, 3, 4 and passes two dice. Gottfried rolls 2, 4, 2, 6 and passes two dice – he has no shield, so the 6 is just a failure. Alphonse has scored two more successes than Alexa, a Telling Blow. His lance has an Impact of 7 on the charge, easily more than Alexa’s AC of 2, so she is Out Of the Fight (OOF). This means she is so badly wounded she can do nothing more in this encounter; however, because she has Hardiness 1 she can take a Hardiness test on 2d6. She rolls 6, 5 – both of these are more than her Hardiness, so she passes 0d6 and the original result applies.

He has also scored two more successes than Gottfried, another Telling Blow, and Gottfried is also OOF. He rolls 4, 6 for a Hardiness test and is still OOF.

Johann would take a Crisis Test at this point to see if his nerve holds, but since he is a star and can choose the outcome, he fights on. I mean, what kind of hero would quit just because all his allies have been perforated?

Alphonse can now ride through the melee, because he has scored two or more successes against all his opponents while charging; but there are no more foes behind the first rank, so he cannot engage them, he merely moves out of melee and observes in case Bertrand needs help. This melee is now over.

Bertrand has identical statistics and equipment to Alphonse, so he rolls 6d6 in melee and counts shield dice. He scores 2, 6, 4, 6, 2, 4 and passes two dice with two shield dice. (Johann’s halberd has Impact 6, but Bertrand’s armour is 6, so he still counts as protected.) Johann is Rep 4, has a polearm on contact (+1d6), and as a star is Elite Trained so must pass at least 1d6. He is not protected currently (Impact 7 vs AC 6), but will be in subsequent rounds as the lance’s Impact drops to 4 after the initial charge. He rolls 5d6 but cannot count shield dice as he has a two-handed weapon.

He rolls 5, 3, 5, 1, 3, and passes 3 dice. Johann has scored one more success than Bertrand, but Bertrand uses one of his shield dice to counteract this, so they are evenly matched, and remain in contact.

Activation for turn 2 follows. The knights roll 2, Johann rolls 5. The knights can activate (as 2 is less than their Rep of 5), but Johann can’t (as his Rep 4 is less than the die roll). The knights activate and decide to belabour this upstart commoner.

Bertrand chooses to go first, and has the option of continuing in melee or breaking off. He chooses to break off, since Johann is protected against his lance unless Bertrand charges. Bertrand wheels away, and moves off far enough for a charge on his next activation.

Alphonse grins under his full helm, and charges Johann from behind. He rolls 1, 2, 3, 1, 4, 5 and passes 4d6 with no shield dice. Johann rolls 1, 6, 6, 6, 6 – ouch. Pity he’s not playing a game where rolling high is good. He passes 1d6. Alphonse scores 3 more successes than Johann – a Killing Stroke! Johann is Obviously Dead (OD), and takes a Hardiness test on 2d6. He rolls 1, 4 and passes 1d6 despite only having Hardiness 1. He is wounded; the melee continues, but he loses 2d6 from his pool.

As the contestants were not evenly matched, neither can break off. The combat round doesn’t end until everyone is OOF, OD, or evenly matched, so it’s still the same combat round.

Alphonse rolls 4, 4, 1, 2, 5, 6 and passes 2d6 with one shield die. Johann rolls 3, 6 (he lost another die because this is not first exchange of dice rolls, so his polearm advantage no longer applies) and passes 1d6. Alphonse has scored one more success so the loser (Johann) is pushed back 1″ and loses another die from his pool. Since Alphonse isn’t in fieldworks or stopped by another opponent, he follows up and the fight continues.

Alphonse rolls 4, 5, 5, 2, 3, 1 and passes 3 dice. Johann rolls 1 and passes 1d6; again he is pushed back 1″ and loses another die from his pool. Because Johann is now at 0d6, he is rendered OOF, but because he has Hardiness he can make another Hardiness Test – he rolls 2, 4, passing 0d6, so he really is OOF.

This time all three of the Company are OOF, rather than two OOF and one OD. I think I can merge these threads handily, but it will be several more encounters before you see how.

*Later*: Actually, I still got it wrong, because when fighting Alphonse after the initial charge, Johann is protected from the lance (Impact 4 vs AC 6) so he should get an extra die. Also, the knights are not outnumbered when fighting Johann, so they should both get an extra die too. I don’t think that would change the eventual outcome, though, just extend the fight a little; plus it’s late, and I’m too tired to adjust the last couple of dice exchanges.