Armored Combat

Armored Combat (also called Heavy Weapons) as practiced in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Full contact and full speed using real armor and simulated weapons.
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Fourth Sunday at Our Place

This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of the month, and Isenfir and Caer Glenniog get together at our place on the Western March of Caer Mear for projects, practice, socializing and food.

We start around 1, run until we're out of gas, and this week we expect to see some out of town visitors who will make a fight practice more interesting and fun.

Consider coming!

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3 and 0 becomes... Oops!

3 and 5? Ah well, we had a good start to our run at Ice Castles this weekend. Philip, Adelric (formerly Hagan) and I formed the "Blowing the Dust Off" team, and roared out of the gate at Ice Castles to a 3-0 start.

Alas, we ended the day 3 and 5. The order of the day brought us to the toughest teams later, and Adelric's ankle made him less and less mobile as we went on. Still, several of those losing fights were near things. Of course, several of them were decisive losses.

The tourney was cramped, also well attended, which was frankly a pleasant surprise. Things could have run more smoothly, and it would have been smart of me to look closely at the schedule for the day and realize we did not need to be there by 11 in order to get into the main tourney--they ran a novice list ahead of it!

So much for sleeping in.

After the tourney the Chivalry held the field and I got some good fights from the unbelts. Much to my relief, my hand appears to be 99% returned to its pre-injury state. Hooray for that.

My ankle was oddly stiff the next day, but nothing to worry about, and my shoulder didn't bother me at all! Though I am sore sore sore from the first day of fighting in 3 months. No surprise there, I should be.

More practice needed! To the pell! To the gym! Well, maybe tomorrow.

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UVa has a World Expert on Ancient Warfare

He held a lecture last night, sponsored by the Classics Society. Apparently it was the best attended lecture they've ever held.

Ancient Warfare in Modern Cinema by Professor Lendon of the History Department was quite enjoyable. He made appropriate fun of 300, Spartacus and several other movies, while using them as a jumping off point to talk about ancient warfare.

Nevertheless, I wrote this down in the midst of his talk, just after he suggested that ancient duels were short, since Homer spent little time describing the actual duels.

It is a conceit of the literary to imagine that writers are more capable of describing than people are of acting.

To suggest that people of a given time were simple only because a writer describes them simply, puts all credit on the writer and all criticism on those he writes about.

Personally, I think that the warriors Homer described (assuming they were in any sense real people) were professional men who were expert at what they did, and as capable of complex martial art as any black belt.

Imagining that people weren't smart in ancient times is a failure of imagination on the order of believing that space aliens were necessary to build the pyramids. Just because you can't figure out how to build a pyramid without a backhoe doesn't mean that our ancestors could not.

Maybe Homer didn't like, or just wasn't very good at describing one on one fights.

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Armored Practice this 4th Sunday

With the promise of good weather this Sunday, and lots of people coming over as well, I though I'd try to put an explicit emphasis on a fight practice to go along with all the creative activities planned. So, if you don't have some critical project to work on, and you want to fight, let's plan to armor up starting at 2 pm on Sunday.

For those of you who don't know, Caer Glyniog and Isenfir do a combined 4th Sunday practice and projects and food day at our place. This is the last one of the year, since the holidays interfere with the next two months.

The day kicks off proper at 1 and food is usually around 5, though we've never been short on munchies throughout the afternoon.

Rides from Charlottesville are available!

If this sounds like something you want to do, please respond so we know how to plan our afternoon. If we don't get a bunch of takers, Philip and I may just put up roof sheathing instead.

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War of the Frozen Wings

War of the Wings was fun, and I'll do it again. But I probably won't camp and sure won't camp if I'm setting up in the dark, without a real camp to be part of.

I am really out of practice at going to events for the first time without my beloved navigator. Missed the 29 turn off of 460 in Lynchburg and would have never found the site if I hadn't loaded the Acorn directions into my iPod Touch. (Which is cooler and cooler as I use it more, by the way.) Of course, even those official directions were wrong, but not so wrong that I couldn't find the site anyway.

While having the cars near the camps is convenient, from where I was it was a mood killer. Most people probably weren't bothered by them, but they were right across a short span of grass from where I set up.

Everyone knows it was cold, so I won't belabor that observation. Note to self: Don't sit around for an hour or more drinking beer before bed, then expect to be able to stay in said warm bed all night long. I'm sticking to wine next time.

The fighting was good, though as ever, uneven sides made for Less Fun. Not as bad as Crusades the past two years, and Sacred Stone even managed to bring in a few wins in situations where numbers were less crucial.

In particular, playing "Pennsic Allied Champions style" capture the flag in the woods was some hard, interesting fighting.

Some real tuning needs to be done to make this a spectacular event. And some folks need lessons in courtesy:

  • Waterbearers had, apparently, only one straw. Luckily I think I was the only person who can't drink without one while my helm is on. But it made hydration a real challenge for me. I was still dehydrated on Sunday.
  • Marshaling did not keep the pace of the day in mind. Breaks were too long.
  • Some thoughtless, cruel bastard thought locking his dog in the car all night Friday was a way to keep it quiet. Or something. It barked on and off all night long. Was it your dog? Think you're not a thoughtless cruel bastard? I invite you to prove it on my body.
  • 2 AM Friday arrival near or in the Sacred Stone camp, who thought it would be cool to blare bad rock music while unloading.
  • Trumpeter warming up (again near Sacred Stone, where I was) at 7:30 AM Saturday. WTF!?

On the good side, I got to work with Lord Douglas on polearm, hang out with the Ruttles under their dayshade and drink beer with Sir Mark and Aven. Perhaps I even turned Cuan into a fan of Storm Large & the Balls.

I owe Colin a spear because I broke it (or let it get broken, more like) in the first castle battle. And Aldred courteously refused recompense for my breaking his spear in the second castle battle. I grabbed it and we wrestled for it, but the door jamb acted as a lever point and CRACK went the shaft.

I found myself leading the front line of the center Sacred Stone ally unit in the second field battle charge, which is notable because I was armed with my pole. We suffered in the first charge because my unit thought "GO GO GO" meant "continue at a moderate walking pace" so I had them guide off me the second time and it went much better. That charge turned into a rather amazing running skirmish for me, as I got behind the broken line, was chased around by at least 3 different groups of shieldmen and finally spun my way back into my own guys.

So, fun. Special thanks to Philip for hauling away my tent and polearms. But seriously, you with the dog in the car all night? Put on your armor and find me on the field.

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Soon to Freeze at War of the Wings

In a couple hours I'm hitting the road for War of the Wings. While Thjora heads north for woodworking at Gen & Alan's, I'm going to be camping tonight, freezing my butt off sleeping in the blue spiral arming tent. Someone get a bonfire going! I doubt I'll fight tonight, but tomorrow should be fun.

Philip will be down there too, and I'm sure I'll see plenty of other fun folks like Girard, Douglas, Colin, Clare and my brother knights.

Home earlyish Sunday, I think.

I've got my new iPod Touch to rock the tunes on the way down! This thing is unbelievably cool. And for my fellow geeks out there, no, I haven't Jailbroken it. Yet.

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Long Weekend, Even Without Monday Off

Here's a short form report, perhaps to be expanded on later.

Crusades was another rout for the Atlantian Armored side, though Rapier kicked the East's ass.

The melee fighting was less than fun, if only because the numbers were something like 70 to 110. Fifteen more Atlantians could have made a fundamental difference. You weren't there? Then yes, I'm talking to you.

I got my foot strained when someone stepped on it sideways as I tried to clear off the bridge, dead. First time I've been taken out of the fighting by an "injury" in many years. Thankfully, either because I quit for the day and iced it immediately or because it wasn't much of a strain, my foot is back to 90% today.

Today was 6 or so hours on the front loader. I'll be sneezing dust for days, which qualifies as too much info for you. Sorry.

Pictures later.

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Super Foam Fends Off Swinging Shovel


Where can I get this in a nice 13th century coif, instead of a hipster skateboard hat?

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Mmmmm...Flexy! (Picture Link Fixed)

Theron and GriffinFrom the finals of Masters of Defense, Theron and Griffin fighting for 2nd and 3rd place. More pictures at Cecilia Jaeger's Gallery, including some of me fencing.

This was a fun tourney that even new people will have a good time at. Lots of fighting in a bearpit style until the semi-finals. So come out next year, it deserves to succeed.

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Journey to the Crusades, 9/22 just down the road

I'm Armored Combat Marshal for Journey to the Crusades down here in Caer Gelynniog (Fluvanna, near Charlottesville) in two weeks. If you'd like a day of melees and training, please consider coming down.

Crash space is available!

Authorizations begin at 10:30.
Combat to begin immediately after, or no earlier than 11 AM.
For those used to "SCA time" please be advised that I work very hard to START ON TIME!

Planned armored combat activities include a warlord tourney with field obstacles, post-bout training and analysis and other scenarios to prepare for Crusades as time and numbers allow.

Details at

I think I have to skip the feast so I can rescue the dogs.

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