ANST - Appearance of Fighters

Keith Hood jemuga at
Wed Jul 1 10:57:21 PDT 1998

Moriel wrote:

>This leads to another question...Since not all fighters or knights are
>from the same time period, does it lessen the "romance" aspect of the
>tourney field if you were to see a later period fighter come out in full
>plate and fight an early period personna who was in llamelar? [this with
>the understanding that both fighters had covered up jeans, t-shirts,
>plastic armour, etc...]  Since the Society covers roughly 1,000 years
>there is a LOT of armour variations and styles.

Personally, I think the mix is one of the most fascinating things about 
SCA fighting.  I have always deeply enjoyed reading history, and I do a 
lot of "what if" type thinking about the differences in fighting systems. 
 What would have happened if later-period knights in full plate had come 
up against a Spartan phalanx?  How would a Zulu regiment have fared 
against a Alemani war band?  Tournaments are a way to get closer to 
understanding the historical capabilities and limitations of various 
armor types and fighting styles.

The differences in appearance certainly make a much more colorful show.  
If everybody on the field were equipped in much the same style it just 
wouldn't have the spectacular aspect that is one of a tournaments's 
biggest features.

I know a lot of times, people will use arms and techniques that really 
don't fit the historical background of their persona, and I understand 
that.  The desire to do well in a tournament is part of the equation that 
makes people fight, so they go with the system they think gives them the 
best chance of success.  Sometimes they go with the methods that are 
more readily taught in their area.  But I would really love to see more 
tournaments where everyone involved used only the arms and techniques 
particular to their personas' cultures, and stage fights that require use 
of culture-specific methods.  Maybe put together a real phalanx and see 
how it does against a horde of Vikings.  I know something like that would 
require some real organization and training outside the norm for the 
fighters involved, but it would be a good learning experience, and it 
could be quite a show.

A long bow and a strong bow,
And let the sky grow dark.
The nock to the cord, the shaft to the ear,
And a foreign king for a mark!

	-- Stolen from "The Song of the Bosonian Archers" --
		 by Robert Howard, who should be
		  the patron saint of Ansteorra
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