ANST - War and tactics

Armand Dragonetti dragonetti at
Tue Mar 20 09:18:15 PST 2001

Greetings from Ld. Armand,
Speaking to the effectiveness of our siege engines.....I was a shieldman who
tried to protect several of the ballistae crews from incoming arrow fire and
was in a position to observe the ballistae coordination efforts. I noticed
right away that machines of varying designs had inherently different fire
rates making a coordinated effort difficult at best. Only one volley could
be coordinated before the firing rates threw things off as crews were
anxious to get off their next shot. This is just a matter of discipline and
prior communication of coordination efforts. Also, targeting was not
concentrated close enough together to really create the unavoidable barrage
that we'd like to see. To improve our effectiveness, (and since we had
machines in the kind of numbers to make it work), I believe two units of 3
to 4 ballistae each, firing at roughly the same target area could achieve
the desired effect. Two engine commanders, working in unison, loudly calling
commands (or perhaps using signaling banners) (ie, "Unit 1, Ready, Aim,
Loose!"  followed by "Unit 2: Ready, Aim, Loose")  Ideally each unit would
consist of 5 or more machines, since invariably an engine will misfire,
quickly become undermanned, or have other difficulty keeping up the pace. In
a perfect world we should strive for one or two pre-war practices to train
crew members. Realistically, the logistics of getting all the engines
together in one location with full crews makes this unlikely. However,
perhaps at the war, during the time set aside for engine inspections we
could strongly encourage a practice time and reserve part of the field for
such activity. Perhaps a non-point engines-only battle. Something. To get
more crews together at the same time prior to the actual battle. These are
just a few thoughts on how to improve for next year. All in all, I was
impressed with the engines' effectiveness. And my hat's off to all those who
financed, built, transported and manned these machines. It is an effort
worthy of all our recognition! Vivat!

Ld. Armand Dragonetti
Squire to Sir Galen of Bristol

From: <GuyLestran at>

> I agree with Mahee.  Both the ballista and arrow fire needs to be more
> coordinated.  This happened during small periods of the battle, mostly
> the ballista and sometimes with groups of archers (two or three) at most.
> Sir Timo was mostly the one working with the archers I believe when he had
> the chance.  I'm not sure who coordinated the ballista fire.  It came
> in the defense though.

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list