ANST - War and tactics - Siege Weapons

Lawrence Ruiz lruiz at
Tue Mar 20 10:17:18 PST 2001

Greetings unto all from the Siege Weapons Marshal of Ansteorra,
Great ideas one and all.  A spotter for the batteries was discussed by many
commanders and I think next year we will be seeing that implemented.  I
personnally noticed in the fort while marshaling the bolts were landing in
the same spot time after time.  Had the engine simply been turned left or
right, another Trimaran would have been felled.
Thank you HL Gideon for the information concerning the injury.  From the
sound of it, perhaps the raising of the soil might alleviate this from
occurring in the future.  I saw the injury and where it occurred but not
how.  Any details I would appreciate so I can ensure our safety.  Remember
we have to go back to work on Monday.
Where to practice?  Why Autumn Melees of course!  There is a siege
competition and I am sure we can talk the coordinators into allowing us a
little leeway to experiment and improve our tactics.  I also can not
emphasize enough the training of your engine crews with your war units
during your melee practices.  I know the coastal region practices this when
we can and I encourage all you all to do the same.  And if you can not make
Autumn Melees due to some unfortunate reason, I highly recommend you compete
against Seawind's current Siege Weapon Defender, the Siege Engine Crew of
the Barony of Bjornsborg in Siege of the Abbey.  This competition is aimed
purley at war with the winner determined by the number of kills.

I remain in your service,
Lawrence the Rampant

> Greetings from Ld. Armand,
> Speaking to the effectiveness of our siege engines.....I was a shieldman
> tried to protect several of the ballistae crews from incoming arrow fire
> 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
> prior communication of coordination efforts. Also, targeting was not
> concentrated close enough together to really create the unavoidable
> 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
> 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.
> 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
> 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
> with
> > the ballista and sometimes with groups of archers (two or three) at
> > Sir Timo was mostly the one working with the archers I believe when he
> > the chance.  I'm not sure who coordinated the ballista fire.  It came
> later
> > in the defense though.
> ------------------------------
> End of ansteorra V2 #456
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