[Ansteorra-archery] Is there a rift?
pug at pug.net
Mon Apr 22 08:52:11 PDT 2002
Unfortunately I have kept my mouth quiet for a while on this topic. I
think it's time for me to change that. Guy brought up on the Archery
list if there was a rift between heavy combatants and combat archers.
There has been a little discussion, but not much. I am expanding this
to include the Ansteorran War list.
There is most certainly a rift between the majority of the heavy
combatants and the combat archers. There are many reasons for this,
some of which are excuses by both sides. Some of these have been
mentioned, but others have not. I will repeat many of them here.
First, there are many heavy combatants that do not like touch kill for
archers. They feel that if the archers can get out there and kill them
with a blow (and in some cases bruise them), then they should be
able to kill the archer. I agree with that from both sides of the
arrow. Unfortunately at some wars we are not allowed to do that
according to convention. It is up to our Crown and Earl Marshal
(with help from the Chivalry) to get those conventions changed,
not the archers. Now I think the archers should be encouraging these
individuals to change the rules.
Second, there are many heavy combatants that do not like being killed
from afar. Well they have similar problems with 12' spears and the
like, but that is "different" because they can at least hit their
opponent when they get close to them. While this will not go
completely away, it is up to the archers to get the touch kill rules
gone as well as educating people about how "period" it was.
Third, there are many heavy combatants that do not like the lack of
skill it takes to be a combat archer in order to kill people. This is
to the point that the middle Kingdom (with their odd rules) require
someone to be an authorized heavy combatant before they can be an
authorized combat archer. I think that this is just something we have
to deal with or get more of the heavy combatants to at least do some
combat archery during wars.
Fourth, combat archers do not train with their units nor do they take
proper direction from the "chain of command". We need to have more
practices where the archers are with their units and in there deep
with the fighters. (It is amazing how much havoc you can do when the
fighters don't realize where the archer is and that they are just
behind the spears. Especially if you don't hold the bow up when you
aren't shooting.) As well, combat archers need to know the commands
and who is in charge. They can't just be out there being a loose
cannon. They have to know when and where the unit it going and what
their orders are. This is accomplished by practicing with local units
and knowing who the commanders are. Now counter to that, we need to
make sure the commanders use the archers and use them to good effect.
It is no good if the commander just says go do something instead of
telling them what they want.
Fifth, many combat archers do not take direction. I've noticed this as
both an archer and as a heavy fighter. When someone gives direction to
a combat archer, the archer will not follow it. This could be because
of many reasons none of which matter. The problem is that they do not
communicate properly from either direction. While none of the excuses
matter, a couple issues here I'd like to mention here.
First, many archers may not know the names or see what the person
directing them is seeing. The directions need to be clear as to
location, description of the person (tabard colors, weapon, etc) and
Second, many archers have a hero complex and want to only kill the
"important" people. What they don't realize is that every person on
the field can make a difference. A single shield man taken out can
allow the spears to reek havoc on the other line to turn the war.
Third, many archers won't take a shot they don't have a high chance
of success. What many don't realize is that every shot, even if it
misses, causes the opponent to make a mistake or to make an opening
for another combatant.
Fourth, many archers don't want to get in close to the lines. They
can have a fear of either being in the way or being hit.
Sixth, combat archers are seen as whiners about their equipment and
the rules. This is not something new nor something to easily go away.
Those archers that don't want their equipment destroyed as easily move
toward fiberglass and the like. Those that see injustices in the rules
make *calm and rational* explanations to the powers who be. This is the
same for heavy combatants. Those that don't want their swords destroyed
as often go to siloflex. Etc. In both classes of people, there is a lot
of money being spent on equipment and expendable supplies. In both
classes of people their are rules that people dislike - such as the new
half gauntlet rules that may be coming to Ansteorra.
Seventh, there are a few bad apples giving the others bad names. When
we find equipment tweaked to deliver harder blows or arrows/bolts that
are not built to legal standards, it gives everyone a bad name no
matter how many people are actually doing it. This is true for Rhino
Hiders and the like on the heavy field field as well. Not to mention
Peerages and other "exclusive" groups. (Authenticity Nazis recently
had a wonderful slam recently on the Ansteorran list.)
Finally, many combat archers don't mingle with the heavy combatants
off the field. While the combat archers are trying to get a sense of
community, which is great for them, from my observations they are not
sitting under the pavilions nor sitting around the fires with other
heavy combatants. This type of activity is what builds a bond between
the fighters. You tell "no shit there I was stories" and allow others
to tell them about you. Without this bond, it is my opinion that there
will always be a rift between the heavy combatants and combat archers
even if all of the other issues are resolved.
Let me state that there are exceptions to all of the above statements,
but in "general" they are true. Stereotypes come from some basis in
Master Phelim Gervase called Pug
Phelim "Pug" Gervase | "I know that I will never be politically correct
Bryn Gwlad - Ansteorra | I don't give a damn about my lack of etiquette
Dark Horde Moritu | As far as I'm concerned the world could still be flat"
pug at pug.net | --Meatloaf
Note: The views do not reflect the SCA nor the Kingdom of Ansteorra.
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