[Ansteorra-archery] Is there a rift?

Pug Bainter pug at pug.net
Mon Apr 22 08:52:11 PDT 2002

Good Morning,

  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
    the like.

    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

In Service,
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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