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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This Might Not Suck

Apple - Trailers - Iron Man

But this looks almost unimaginably terrible:

Apple - Trailers - Beowulf

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Would You Have Ignored Me There?

As I mentioned in this post, I got to have some fun in the castle battle using Norman, my big axe.

Ursus has a pic:


Wouldn't you have kept an eye on me?

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Now Back to the Future

That's the end of the backdated entries.

Weeks later, I'm all caught up. The shoulder is better, but my back is still bothering me but finally improving. The doc says it's my sacroilac joint and gave me some steroids for it. Those have been messing with my sleep schedule, sometimes waking me up at 4 am, ready to start my day. Slightly annoying, but so far they haven't caused me to crash.

It's pretty strange to be full of energy but still have a back that won't let you do anything substantial. Though the range of motion I must avoid is pretty small– I was able to use a sledge to help take down the great room fireplace brick. I just couldn't clean fallen brick, carry buckets or haul the wheelbarrow.

I actually trashed my standard pole at Pennsic during tear down. Next year a new pole using Reynard's construction methods. No more panic when bad weather comes in!

I'm very excited about Vair & Ermine's autonomous collective now getting enthused by the idea of lots of tall war standard poles for camp. I bet we have six or more of them next year! Which also means some of us need to create war standards, not just the poles. Imagine next year, not just one pole at the front of camp, but two lanes of them all the way back.

For those of you planning your own standard, here's some info that may be helpful:

Society and Atlantia have no restrictions on the heraldic display of standards. If you want to be historically accurate for your period and station, look it up. There were no rules about it in the early 13th century that I've found, so I just use what I want.
Mine is 12' long, about 24" wide. By 15th century rules, this is the size for an emperor or an arch-duke or some such. It's made of light polycotton, and is only starting to show wear now after about ten years of use.

The "fly" of the standard is next to the pole. The badge of your kingdom goes there, unless you're the king.

The rest of the flag is a place to display your colors, badge, possibly multiple times, your motto and maybe some of your awards like Shark's Teeth, QoCs, that sort of thing. Proper display may include elements of your arms, but not your full coat of arms.

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The River Battle Looked Dumb Anyway

Another day with a sore shoulder and a hip. I couldn't imagine crossing the river on my knees, so I skipped that battle too. Philip said he had a good time there, having, among other things, killed Sir Keegan with his spear. Reviews of the battle suggested that it sucked less than the previous year's River Battle.

I put on the last of my cool, clean garb and did some shopping to no great effect. Discussed the possibility of going to Gulf Wars with Osprey and other Darkwood folks. If I do go, I'll probably fly. 24 hours in a car--ugh.

Img 3600.Jpg?Derivative=Medium&Source=Web Theo & Roland started packing out because Roland was sick and getting sicker. Mistress Sigrid from Lochmere showed amazing technical massage skills, working on my shoulder and back, making me feel much better and regret not having sought her help earlier in the week.

Img 3599.Jpg?Derivative=Medium&Source=Web Much discussion of how to pack down, and those leaving Friday were very lucky to be able to pack dry canvas. We started some "prep packing" for tear down and most folks got their trucks, which in many cases was a mythic adventure into a hell of mud filled with people from New Jersey who don't know how to use four wheel drive. Bob & Elspet provided yummy pizza as a fine culmination of the supper club.

Pic by Genvieve

Little to say about Saturday except hooray, the weather let us pack dry stuff. We got out later than we planned, but early enough to get home to showers, sleepy, surprised dogs and a real bed with clean linens.

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There was a Woods Battle, I hear.

My shoulder still bothered me Thursday morning, and I reluctantly decided to skip the Woods battle because of it and the nasty looking weather. That's something I haven't done in 20 years, with the possible exception of the year of Anton I when I was sick sick sick for a couple of days at the war. Between that and crossing myself off the roster for the Allied Champs, I see a very clear indicator that conditioning and training must become serious commitments for me if I'm to maintain the skills I have, much less improve them.

Tried a bit more shopping instead, taking my gambeson by Windrose to see if the titanium hauberk would fit over it. Alas, (or possibly all for the best) it was already sold. Then Alan, Thjora and I ganged up on Osprey, attempting to convince her to go have her foot looked at by someone at an Urgent Care center. To no avail, alas.

In the evening, Girard and Guenievre came by at my invitation. After the Field Battle on Wednesday, I asked Girard to consider joining the household, so we talked about that for quite a while and I invited all those present to chime in, since pretty much everyone in the tent has seen how I run my squires for five or more years. A nice conversation that didn't seem to raise any red flags on either side, though as usual this is a slow, deliberate process for me.

Rain rain rain, with many people clearly worn out by the weather. Colin prepared to pack everyone up and escape.

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See You in Court

We blew a stake at the back of the tent during the storm some time after midnight, letting about 15 gallons of water into the tent. We did triage that night. Luckily the bed was pretty dry.

In the morning, as Thjora fought the rescheduled Rapier Wall battle, I pulled everything off the floor of the tent and dried it out. Thank goodness the sun was out for most of the morning. Thjora was very happy to come back to a dry tent.

The weather was good for the field battles. For the first time I can recall in 20 years of fields, I got legged in the first of the three. Still managed to kill some guys after that before getting flanked. In the second one, I tried to watch the easterners on the hill while most of Atlantia swept left into the Tuchux, for which effort I got hit about 4 times by the Bloodguard as they swung down. In the third battle, I couldn't find any blue tape to poke.

Court prep involved daiquiris (or was it mojitos?) loaded onto Kymber's cart. Personally, I think her making kids cry at the feté that day combined with the rolling bar service is what pushed her over the top for her Pelican.

During the proceedings, I noticed my brother Sir Justus pass into court with something very like a baby sling across his chest, though it appeared to hold some sort of hoagie rather than a child. Confused by this, I wandered over to where he sat, now eating the hoagie. I asked "OK, either you were wearing your sandwich, or you are eating your baby." To which he replied without losing a beat "Both! I'm an Atlantian knight."

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A Fun to Suck Ratio of 28:120, then Add Rain

Tuesday came up grey and cool, and delivered on its promise of rain starting about halfway through the Wall Battle. Instead of fighting across the wall, both sides were fighting along the wall, essentially making 2000 people fight on one long bridge with multiple entry points.

That turned out to be a big, time consuming problem. In normal Pennsic bridge battles, holds are on a per bridge basis, because the fighting on one bridge doesn't have much of any effect on the fighting on the others unless one of the bridges has been overrun. But since the Wall was effectively all one big timed battle, that meant that all holds had to be general.

And since it was very very similar to a bridge battle with all its associated pushing, crowding, short charges and such, there were lots of holds.

How many? We were out there for roughly two hours before the lightening mercifully ended things. Official fighting time was 28 minutes. Hence the 28:120 ratio, or 7:30 for the math geeks.

Back in camp in a hurry, we battened down the camp as the winds picked up. Getting out of my fighting gear, I told Thjora I'd take care of the war standard as soon as I got some pants on. She looked out of the tent and suddenly yelled "NOW!" and I ran out wearing my sliding shorts and green knee socks to find the standard was bent over nearly 90?. Helmut and Kathall and Hyrim were all trying to work with it, and between the four of us we got both the flags off of it and its roped tightened back up. I'm still shocked that the pine shaft didn't snap.

That experience created our resolve to use Reynard's flag pole construction methods for our new standards debuting some time real soon now.

Colin had to go to town for laundry because of the first of his tent's failures, and he thankfully washed, and more importantly dried my gambeson. Thanks again for that!

Nothing says loyalty to your Kingdom like putting on cold wet armor.

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"We Could Just Swim Over the Walls"

After a full night of rain and a cloudy morning, the air at the castle battle was about 200% humidity. Someone standing on the outside of the walls with me commented that "we could just swim over the walls." Yeah.

We braved the dumb walkway around the walls to make it to the left postern gate with the rest of Atlantia, poked around there for a while and finally forced our way in after attriting the defenders. After using spear on the outside, I thought I'd try my Norman broad axe on the inside from one of the tall corner towers. Wow, did it work like a charm, even being only 6 feet long. The first time I swung it I put just a little arm behind it. It swung completely over the head of the guy near the wall and hit him on the left side of his head, though I was on his right. His head almost hit his right shoulder and he looked up at me while walking away, shouting "That was really fucking hard!"

So I didn't use my arm on any of the other half a dozen blows I dropped on the attackers. Missed a few, but managed to kill at least 3, maybe 5 guys before getting surgically poked in the face by that short Darkmoon knight.

But I'll definitely use the axe from those towers again, as they have some real advantages over spears. First, since you don't have to put them in line, you can hold them up away from attackers who happily grab spears. Second, since the axe doesn't have to be held outside the crenellation before swinging, it comes out of nowhere as a big Norman surprise. It may be even more fun with a 7' long one!

After the battle I happened to run into Sir Joscelyn while we both had our gear on, and we worked on some polearm attacks and guards for a while.

Pic by Ursus. Thanks!

My night for supper club, so I made an Italian Beef and White Bean Stew, which proved able to feed 30 people, rather than the 15 planned for. So we pulled friends and acquaintances off the street to eat, including Douglas Pigboy who came over for help building a polearm and Osprey, our 30th dinner guest.

Thjora headed off with Aedan to Sionad's Tea Party.

Many other social visitors came through that night, including Girard and Guenevra, whose name I am almost certainly misspelling.

Oddly, though I never got a nap that day and I fought a battle, I didn't tire out and after walking Osprey back to her camp I even stayed up and finished the dinner dishes that Hyrim bugged out on before I could ask him to do them. Could it have been because of the powerbar? Or was it my cooking?

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Here Comes the Wet

Cool and Cloudy today, at least to start.

Jonathan and I finished his vambrace, and he set off for the novice tourney just as the rain got going. More power to him for braving it. I know how much that aketon can end up weighing when it gets rained on.

Colin and Clare very nicely did my Supper Club cooking for me when they went to town, saving me a trip and my fabulous parking place.

I stayed in camp, glued up the axe head and kidded Roland about buying "my" sword. The rain kept up, not too hard, but not welcome.

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Was Saturday the Last Day of Good Weather?

Photo by Skorri.

Less humid than Friday, but still good and warm. I had an average performance in Tarl's polearm tourney for me, feeling a bit tired and placing tenth, but I did beat Sir Maynard of the Flyfishing Pole the one time we fought, and he won the tourney. He ran backwards flicking a very long whippy unpadded pole at my head, hitting me light four times.
There were four kinds of polearms in evidence at Tarl's tourney:

  • Proper, padded polearms: maybe five or seven of these.
  • OK, "doubled up" unpadded poles, where something had been done to show a head: Only two of them.
  • 5 to 6 foot unpadded poles that seemed to have been chosen for stiffness and heft. More than half.
  • 7.5 foot flyfishing poles that don't handle one bit like a real weapon. All the rest.

Every time I got hit by one of the unpadded weapons, I had to ask if I'd been hafted. How else would I know?

Later, I helped Jonathan finish his half gauntlet and was denied a chance to buy a nice cross-hilted shlager broadsword at Darkwood because Roland bought the only one they brought.

Colin, Clare and the kids arrived, which meant the camp was at capacity.

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