combat archery

James Crouchet crouchet at
Tue Mar 28 11:02:52 PST 1995

First, yes, I have tested the various heads on both the sending and 
recieving ends.

The crux of your arguements seem to be that:

1) What we do is dangerous.

2) Some folks don't follow the rules and thus make it more dangerous.


3) Marklands are cushier.

To the first two I say yes, it IS dangerous to do what we do in the SCA. I
have not found a Thistle Missle to be more dangerous than a sword though,
and I have been hit by a lot more arrows than swords. My conclusion is
that the Thistle Missles DO STING when they hit, but not nearly so much as
ANY of the few sword blows I have taken. 

The solution to the problems you name seems to be to police ourselves 
better. Trying to blame this kind of safty problems on a rubber arrow 
head doesn't make the game safer -- it makes it more dangerous by ignoring 
the real problems.

As for the Marklands being cushier, how about the idea of adding a layer 
of foam on top? It would be cheap and eazy to do.

Finally, I will say there IS a place for physics in this discussion. 
Physics is not just theory, it is the mathmatics that describes how 
things work in the real world.  The 600 inch pounds I quoted translates 
into real force from a real crossbow.  If someone states that this head 
hits harder we can at least get an idea if this could be so from the 

On Tue, 28 Mar 1995 STDDLY at TINY_TIM.SHSU.EDU wrote:

> Savian,
> Thistle missles may be relatively safe for heavy weapons fighters but 
> not for the marshalls.  Our marshalls do their jobs without the 
> protection of armour. Lots of times they get hit both with swords 
> (ask Tivar about the Castle Battle at Gulf War) and with arrows. The 
> bows used in combat are not properly checked and lots of times there 
> are people using bows that are illegal according to society law. My 
> lord (Sir Kief) witnessed an arrow with a thistle tip come from well 
> behind the castle (at the Gulf War), fly over the attackers, over the 
> crowd and hit a truck 50 feet behind and dent it. All flying at a 
> flat arc for a range of 250 to 300 ft that he could see. 
> At several other events the fighting activities were arranged poorly 
> and arrows were exchanged with one of the teams close to the 
> spectators. It was a miracle none of the spectators got hurt.
> Lots of this stuff is administrative or judgement error, granted. But,
> one person circumventing the rules leads to others ignoring the rules.
> Which leads to people getting hurt. Lots of people (even fighting 
> grants and peers)are lax with the rules because they do not refresh 
> themselves in the rules or keep up with the changes.  Even if they do 
> keep up they (as human nature is) do not check to see if they are 
> abiding by the rules. If they are found to be wanting in standards 
> before a tourney and they have a white X  they usually are passed 
> because of the white x or throw a fit without really examining if 
> they didnot pass for a valid reason. This is my own opinion and I do 
> not mean to sound as if I dislike the upperlevel fighting community. 
> I just have an ideal that people achieving certian ranks should set 
> the example in their field (no pun intended). I do know many who do 
> try their best to be good examples and of course everybody has a bad 
> day.  
> There is still the problem with the marshalls. If we armour them they 
> look like fighters and get hit more often. If we don't they are in 
> danger of being seriously hurt in scenarios with combat archery.(In 
> talking to several marshalls the Markland distribute and take the 
> shock of the impact and so hurt less and are less likely to take out 
> an eye or crush a windpipe)
> FYI according to Kief our Crown and Earl Marshall 
> have signed into law that thistle missles are illegal for rapier 
> combat because there is not enough throat protection in that armour. 
> Kief and I both want to know if you have personally tested the 
> Markland and Thistle head arrows at combat range. Theoretical physics 
> and reality sometimes produce different results. If you haven't 
> tested them or would like to - Kief is willing to get together with 
> you at an event and do so. Just give him advanced notice so he can 
> arrange to have the equipment there.
> Lorraine DeerSlayer

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