Weapons and worms

From: Dom Twist <thazar_at_globalnet.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 20:51:55 -0000

This rambles a bit but it gets back on Gloranthan topic later on........

Mike Dawson>
>At the risk of opening up a huge can of worms about what constitutes
"knowing more"......
Consider said Can of Worms opened....
> I'll mention that I've got almost 15 years of SCA combat experience,
including leading units.

I have ten years in British Re-enactment......plus a year with the SCA. Again leading units and so on. I expect to fight close to 30 battles this year...I dont do the largest shows anymore and my biggest will be Tewksbury, A medieval show with 3000 people on the field fighting at the same time....plus the Canon and Archers of course. And yes both will be fireing during the battle (the Canon fireing blank charges down carefully controlled fire corriders)

> I'm the first to admit that SCA fighting has its share of inaccuracies,
- -....Ouch! That didn't work. Let's try something else....." Things that work are adopted and >refined, things that don't are discarded by the wise.

The trouble with all 're-enactment' and 'sport combat' (British, American/Austrilian, European....the Russians are a bit nuts mind) is that we're not allowed to kill people for real.......as such things do not work as they really should...for example my newest Weapon is the Bardiche......And I'm just not allowed to swing that thing two-handed into somes chest...because blunt or not it'll kill them, Plate Armour or no Plate Armour...so I end up using it like a Kilngon Batcalv with staff on one end.(sorry 'bou the spelling all you trekkies).

>Here's one thing I know. In SCA combat, where cost of weapons means
nothing, there are in my experience exactly ZERO effective spear and shield units.

In my, agreed limited and out of date, experiance of the SCA it much more focused on small scale Melee's than 'Massed Ranks' affairs.....There are plenty of Short Spear and Shield units in the UK and Europe (at least in Dark Ages period stuff) and some of them are very effective....

>When everyone can choose to have a sword, axe or mace instead of a spear to
use with their shield, EVERYONE choses to get a short chopping weapon.
>Spear and shield is REALLY BAD for charging, because you end up in really
close quarters in a charge, like a rugby scrum.

Belive me if you charge in on a spear equiped Shield Wall armed with Sword and Shield your a dead man......of course if you have pole arms to back you up...or if you get past the wall they're in trouble...defensively its hard to beat.....I can quite see using Spear and Shield to defend/fight your wall but when things go loose you draw a sword/axe or large knife. Just about everyone has a large knife......

Yet another problem is that weapons get used out of period.......Yes 1H Spear DOES get trashed by longer weapons, like pole axes......but Pole axes wernt in use much in say Saxon times...the Dane Axe evolved into it BECAUSE it was so effective but it took time....and the Dane Axe itself Scared HELL out of the Normans at Hastings....

>One thing we don't do in the SCA is hit each other's bodies with our
shields. Why not? Because it is really easy to really hurt someone! I wouldn't be surprised to >find lots of damage being done by an orlanthi's shield boss or rim.

Hehe.....the safety types havent yet baned Offensive Shield use on this side of the Atlantic yet....and it must be said that a shield is one of my favorite weapons.

Back to Topic.

Do Orlanthi use Shield Walls? Without it they have NO solid defensive battle field formation......and as all this debate points out the use of 1h Spear is pretty dubious without the Wall. Shield Walls are a pretty damn natural thing if you ask me......it just kind of happens in the press of battle....and if you train into it well its effective. It also leads to other more advanced formations...like the BoarSnout V charge....something that will break a lot of formations. We all know that Orlanthi will be great skirmishers....but what about their line of battle?

Orlanthi are regularly fighting against formations and troop types that their Celtic/Saxon/Viking RW equivs never did......and of course Magic has a major impact also...how do they cope?


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