Falling Wedge

The purpose of the Falling Wedge lesson is to learn how to break an enemy line with a coordinated rush against a line.

For Teachers

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Falling Wedge

The Falling Wedge can also be termed a Suicide Charge or Forlorn Hope. The Falling Wedge is a tactic that is used after you’ve been at a standstill in a fight and want to break through your opponent’s line.

The goal of the Falling Wedge is to break up the opposing team’s line by sending in a Kamikaze soldier to become a pin cushion and draw enemy shots for a brief moment. This leaves the rest of the team a split second to swoop in and attack the opposing team while their swords are busy killing your Kamikaze unit.

The Kamikaze moves in first and draws the opponent’s blades on him. This leaves an opening for the rest of the team to move in and eliminate opponents while they’re busy. The result is a broken or weaker line.
The affects of a successful Falling Wedge

Performing the Falling Wedge

Performing the Falling Wedge is a commitment and everyone on your team needs to commit to the attack.

The Kamikaze’s purpose is to sweep or take blades as they fall into the enemy line.

As they die, they need to keep moving through the enemy line or get out of the way. Do not go back the way you came.

Everyone behind the Kamikaze should be setup that as soon as the command is called, they follow the Kamikaze solider and pick off opponent’s while they are distracted. It is incredibly important that everyone keeps moving forward, even if they die.

Defending Against the Falling Wedge 

When faced with the Falling Wedge, the most important thing to do is not get trapped by the Kamikaze soldier and to pick off as many incoming opponent’s as you can.

The momentum of the Falling Wedge relies on those behind the Kamikaze and if you can safely stop them from moving forward, the attack will fail. Remember that it only takes one blade to kill the Kamikaze. Everyone else should be focused on the incoming army.

Teacher Resources

Explain

Explain the following parts of performing a Falling Wedge. Emphasize that the Falling Wedge tactic requires commitment and coordination from all participants as they attempt to break the enemy line.

  • How to perform a Falling Wedge
  • How to defend against a Falling Wedge

Demonstrate

Demonstrate the basic setup of a Falling Wedge and what to do throughout the attempt. Point out how to keep moving after being killed and how to take as many blades as possible. Demonstrate what to look for when faced with a Falling Wedge and how to prevent it.

Guide

After demonstrating, form into two basic lines with the assistance from several Swordsmen, depending on the number of students. Utilize the following drill to practice:

Falling Wedge Drill

Working as a line, each group should progress through performing a Falling Wedge slowly while the other team defends without trying to prevent a Falling Wedge. Switch out the student playing the part of the kamikaze soldier each time. Repeat as necessary.

Enable

At this stage, each Novice should be able to recognize and participate in a Falling Wedge on their own. Run through the following challenge before finishing:

Falling Wedge Drill (Break the Line)

Working as a group, the students should face a line of Swordsmen. The students will attempt to break the line with a Falling Wedge while the Swordsmen attempt to defend. After the students are successful, switch roles and have the students attempt to defend their line, while the Swordsmen attempt a Falling Wedge.

Journal Prompt

Where do you feel you fit best in a Falling Wedge? Would you be willing to perform a Falling Wedge is asked to?

Ready to move on?

You’ve completed the Falling Wedge lesson! Let’s continue learning Melee Tactics with another common setup: a Kill Pocket.