Last on SCA and fighting, spear effectiveness

From: Mike Dawson <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 00:12:58 -0500

On Monday, January 22, 2001, at 05:35 PM, Dom Twist wrote:

> Belive me if you charge in on a spear equiped Shield Wall armed with Sword
> and Shield your a dead man......

Alright, I'm afraid we're going to have to agree that our experiences are rather different from each other's because there's _No Way_ I'm going to believe you on that. I'd be happy to continue this off-list, but I'll end my part of this on-list discussion by saying that I am completely convinced and willing to bet money that my X number of Atlantian or East Kingdom sword & shield guys can kill all of your X number of spear and shield guys in about X+10 seconds of SCA combat. Unless your guys are really good at running away after we break your formation. We aren't going to tiptoe up to the line and wave our swords from range--we're going to charge at a full run in a deep column, if we're talking about X greater than 20.

I repeat. Unless several people who aren't us ask us to continue this discussion ON list, I'll only respond to replies on this part of the discussion OFF list by private email. I'm sure the non-combative find this tiresome.

Further, you said:
>We all know that Orlanthi will be great
skirmishers....but what about their line of battle?

Look in Hero Wars. Kallai has his fyrd form into a defensive form called Ernalda's Knot. Shield Wall, or at least Shield Square.

Andrew Barton replied to the same points:

>Greek hoplites
>were highly effective troops for many centuries, and Hellenistic armies,
>which contained a wide variety of troop types, still relied on pike
>phalanxes as their core infantry.

You did not note my caveat that I was NOT talking about phalanx fighting, which Orlanthi don't do anyway.

Also, what was it that put greek phalanxes out of business? Romans with short swords, big shields and a pragmatic approach to victory.

Regarding unit size: SCA units range from 3 men to 400. At the Pennsic War, 13 or so kingdoms pick sides to muster 1900-2400 per side. I've personally commanded a unit of 200.

Regarding charging leveled spears, yes, we do that. SCA fighting is NOT recreation, it is competitive. Spears are NOT live steel. They are padded. We swing or stab with force, and aim at our opponents. Weapons are typically made of 1 1/4+ inch rattan. (This is what I meant by "Full Contact" Trollball.) Check out for some info and links.

For safety and control reasons, SCA spears are limited to 9 feet max, at least around here.

And "morale checks" are a lot harder to fail in SCA combat.

Mike Dawson Macintosh Tech Director on severance Sent to you using Mac OS X - the future of Macs!

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