combat archery

Michael A. Chance mchance at
Wed Mar 29 11:11:46 PST 1995

Lorraine DeerSlayer writes:

> 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.

At the (in)famous Mustache War, I was marshalling during one of the
"pass" battles (the ones between the two clumps of bushes/trees).
There was an archer/crossbowman on the other side of the battle line
from where I was who was attempting to fire through a gap in the two
lines and hit folks in the back ranks.  Problem was, the folks in the
back ranks _knew_ he was firing at them, and were side-stepping out
of the way as he fired.  As a result, his shots were flying way past
the battle area, and back towards where the spectators were crowding in
along the back edge of the field, trying to get a better look.  Seeing
that a number of his shots were landing _awfully_ close to the crowds,
I turned away from the battle momentarily and started to chase people
further back.  However, just as I did, there was a great shout behind
me, from the direction of the battle.  Thinking that the other side
had achieved a breakthough and that there could well be hordes of
fighters rushing headlong into the crowds nearer to where I was
marshalling, I turned back around again, only to see an arrow flying
straight towards me.  It hit, square between my eyes, momentarily
stunning me and knocking on my backside.  As I sat there trying to
clear the "sparklies" from my vision, I thought to myself, "I'd take
that!".  Then I realized that I was marshalling, not fighting, and I
didn't have to take the shot, so I got back up and continued to
marshall.  Got a small bruise from the Markland-style arrow, but
nothing serious.  Range was maybe 30 yards.  Such was my first
encounter with combat archery.

> 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.

At Pennsic, there has been a growing trend for several years of
marshalls wearing at least partial armor (gauntlets, knee/elbow pads or
cops), and several have taken to wearing WW I "doughboy" style
helmets.  And Pennsic doesn't have combat archery yet (thogh it sounds
as if it may soon, though).

Mikjal Annarbjorn
Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA    "At play in the fields
Work: mc307a at                             of St. Vidicon"
Play: mchance at

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