ANST - Nasty Ballista in A&S

Phillip Stallcup STALPL at
Tue Aug 26 15:38:15 PDT 1997

> On 26 Aug 97 at 1:04, Dennis Grace wrote:
> > Sounds, like a potentially awesome creation, Cosyn, and you still have time
> > to prepare for this year's A&S competition.  So, as to the other questions
> > asked on this topic, how should it be "judged" as an A&S entry?  Should the
> > judges fire it to test for accuracy, range, and speed of operation?  Also,
> > how "period" was it to prettify ballistas and such?  I mean, would you
> > expect the Duc de Britagne to have a plain old wood and iron catapult or
> > mangonel or ballista, or would it be decorated with scrollwork and paints
> > and so forth?
> i've been watching this thread a while and see a lot of confusion ... 
> A&S is a competition for Arts *and* Sciences.  seems that there is a 
> belief that that something has to belong to both catagories.  where 
> a siege engine is oncerned, i woul dfocus on the science aspects ... 
> ie: how effective is it as the thing it represents, ie: a war-engine. 
> in your scenaria re the Duc above, i would prefer having him as an 
> enemy ... for every "pretty" engine he could field i could field 2-3 
> "ugly" but functional ones ... and could probably get them 
> constructed and on the field a lot faster ... same could be 
> extended to weapons and armour (as it was in the late 
> medieval period where art gave way to function and production 
> concerns)
> judge teh thing for what it is and what it represents, not what you 
> as judge want it to be.
> 'wolf 
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I agree, however, history has shown us many 'items' that were both functional,
sometimes barely, and very ornate. Some of the royal armor I've seen pictures
of I couldn't imagine being actually used for combat, but then if you're the
king I suppose you don't have to  actually fight too many people... 

My point is, that a balista entered into A&S competition should have the same
level of consideration given to anything else. As has already been mentioned,
you don't judge a knife against a tapestry, but instead you judge the quality,
workmanship and functionality of the knife against the quality, workmanship and
functionality of the tapestry. Some things are designed to just be pretty, but
that shouldn't omit them from consideration.

Of course the perfect situation would be a combination of the two:

And here we have for the ladies, a beutifully carven siege weapon with brass
and gold accents subtlely placed to just catch the firelight for a lovely

And for the men, here is a mass destruction weapon, the celtic design of the
carving and the way the fire flashes off of the brass when fired is sure to
cause your enemys to tremble in fear...  :)

ok maybe not

Llygoden Llwyd
Barony of Wiesenfeuer
mka Phillip Stallcup
stalpl at


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