James Crouchet crouchet at
Thu Mar 30 09:21:50 PST 1995

On 29 Mar 1995, Galen Bevel wrote:

> JC>What is really wierd about all this is that I remember several time
> JC>fighters have complained that they didn't like the archers because 
> JC>could not feel the arrow shots and know when to die.  So now we hav
> JC>they can feel and what do we get?
> JC>
> JC>Savian
> Savian,
> Personally, I kind of like the TM's.  They do give a hard blow, but in my
> opinion not an excessive one.  But I think that comparing an arrow hit to
> a sword blow is a mistake.  As someone mentioned earlier (forgive my
> failing memory, I can't remember who) an arrow could possibly leave the
> field of combat and strike an innocent, unarmored bystander.  This is very
> unlikely to happen with a sword shot.
> But more germaine is the fact that sword shots have quite a few
> restrictions placed on them that, at present, do not apply to arrows.  I
> refer to illegal targets such as the hands or blows below the knee, and
> not striking from behind.  The rules are for the safety of the fighters
> due to the force and nature of a blow from a sword, etc.  
> If an arrow delivers the same amount of punishment as a sword blow,  can
> we really expect people to be sanguine about receiving such a hit from
> behind, at a distance, by total surprise, as often happens in melee?  Or
> do we start telling archers they may not fire unless they have two eye
> contact and can guarantee they won't hit an illegal area of the target?  I
> can't say that I like either of these options.  
> There must be an upper limit on the force of arrows just as there is on
> any blow. IMHO, that force should be significantly less than those for a
> hand weapon because we cannot place the same controlling regulation on a
> missile.  At least with arrows, we have some way of quantitativly
> measuring the force delivered.
> Sir Galen Kirchenbauer

Your arguements make sense, but as you pointed out in the beginning the 
TMs do hit with the right amount of force.  They are NOT as hard as a 
sword blow as I have tried to point out.  Nor do I think they should.  
But a blow that can be felt, but that does no real damage is approprate. 
This is what we need to make combat archery work properly.

The issues of marshals and spectators must be delt with, and may require 
new rules, safeguards or practices. Remember though, the SCA went through 
all this with ratan and rapier too. That is how we got list ropes, a 
required number of marshals and marshaling staves. I don't think it is 
reasonable to say we will only do combat archery if we can do it without 
changing anything.  At least with the TM we don't have to screen our 
helms like they do in Antir with the 1/2" blunt. 

I don't know what all the answers are, but here are some suggestions. 
These are off the top of my head, so they probably have flaws:

 - Put marshals in fencing masks or racketball glasses. They only have to
   protect against the occassional accidental shot. 

 - Consider the range of arrows when setting up the field and set up a 
   buffer zone.

These are just quicky suggestions.  I am sure that if we put our heads 
together we can come up with solutions to the problems.

Any ideas?


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