A question on War

Robert G. Ferrell rferrell at bga.com
Wed Jul 19 21:20:06 PDT 1995

>Let me lump some of these together here in an effort to slow the number
>of messages
>From: keandbc at ix.netcom.com (Keith Ewing)
>Subject: Re: A question on War
>>Ansteorra is presently a main combatant in only one war. The Gulf War. 
>>Ansteorrans travel all over the known world to attend wars in which 
>>other kingdoms are the main combatants, but the kingdom is only 
>>involved in Gulf Wars. I answered your last question first.
>That's all right.  I've never been critical of our Main war, although the
>rationalization for it escapes me.  However, if rumor is to be believed,
>and I will do so in this case as it may indicate a possible trend, we
>are actively *soliciting* wars.
>>Now the first part of the first question, "why?". From a fighters 
>>standpoint it is the only way to test one aspect of our art. 
>This makes perfect sense to me, particularly as regards the recreating
>period strategies for experimentation (Although I do question how effective
>such recreations can be without details such as cavalry and organized 
>drilling of one's troops (which is something I've not seen Ansteorrans
>all that keen on)).   I can even understand the fact that for the 
>participants (and even some observers) wars can be fun and an opportunity
>to do things that normal one on one combat doesn't allow.
>>More on "Why?". From the standpoint of any Scadian, wars are an 
>>excellent opportunity to meet people from other parts of the known 
>>world and exchange ideas with them...
>As a Scadian who does not see that wars are an excellent opportunity, since
>they are not advertised or presented as such, I must question your use of
>the word "any".  Your message is the *first* time I have heard anyone
>discuss wars as ANYTHING other than "an unsightly brawl" (since we don't
>use artillery :) ), (other than Pennsic, which has become well known for
>its non-combatant aspect).
>>I could go on. I haven't mentioned dancing or reveling or enchanted 
>>ground or kingdom patriotism yet.
>That's all right, the points you *have* made have been more than adequate
>to suggest that there might be other reasons to attend the Gulf Wars.
>>Now to answer the last part of your first question, "Why so MANY?"
>>I have never considered one annually to be "Many".  
>One annually is not "Many", you are correct.  Moreover, for every kingdom
>to have their "own" war may well be a good thing in that they could serve
>to take some of the population pressures off of Pennsic.  OTOH, doing so
>could "Glut" the market, making wars less "Cosmopolitan" since people
>would have no reason to tavel that far to attend a war.
>I suppose the root of my questions has to do with a certain dissatisfaction
>that the growth of the "War" thing just reinforces the point that the Society
>is centered on heavy weapons fighting, and everything else is little more
>than keeping the camp followers busy.
>>Kein MacEwan, Warlord of Ansteorra. (Does it show?)
>Not usually :)

A war is just another event.  It is no more or less necessary than any other
SCA event. While the *focus* of a war is ostensibly heavy weapons fighting,
events are what you make them.  I can go to a war, never put my armor on,
sometimes never even witness the fighting, and still have a great time.  I
have been to a great many A&S oriented events, on the other hand, where I
wished desperately for combat or something like it to break the monotony.
Of course, A&S has become a lot less fun in the six years since I became a
Laurel; that is another kettle of fish entirely. My point is simply that the
theme of an event is not necessarily a binding constraint on what you choose
to do while there.  Some groups (such as, for example, Bjornsborg) take the
party with them; the type of event is almost completely irrelevant to what
kind of atmosphere exists in their vicinity.  Don't let autocrats or
convention dictate whether or not you enjoy yourself.


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