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c-archery-msg - 9/6/14


Combat archery in the SCA.


NOTE: See also the files: CA-Hunt-Tips-art, CA-safe-nocks-art, C-A-Handbook-art, crossbows-msg, fiber-blunts-art, arch-supplies-msg, archery-SCA-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From:    Sionnaichan am Diolaimadh

To:      Philip O'conall

15-Apr-90 10:34pm

Subject: SCA Archery [How to make arrows] *LONG*


> M'Lord, if you described such arrows herein, I am sorry tosay I missed

> it.... Would you please relay design particulars?


I would appreciate input on the construction method found below.  This is a

combination of what Lord Tempus taught the Barony of Darkwater last Thursday,

my personal experience, and the tearing apart of a broken Trimaris list-legal

arrow to see the construction style hidden by duct tape.  I'll keep this on

file pending changes and improvements, and post it as significant changes are

tested in the field.  Having no prejudices in this field, being a relative

newcomer, I have no difficulty in trying out new ideas within safety

tolerances, and would be happy to hear from others.

In service to the Dream,



>>>-------------===) How to Construct SCA Arrows (===-------------<<<

By Sionnaichan am Diolaimadh, Barony of Darkwater, Kingdom of Trimaris

Revised and Assumed Accurate to 15 April, A.S. XXIV.   However, please

check with an authority on SCA arrows in your Kingdom as the making of

arrows and the requirements for battle may differ between realms.  The

Author is always open to changes or suggestions; netmail him at 363/69

or contact him via the Barony of Darkwater, Box 1626, Orlando FL 32802


This Method is intended to give a working reference to individuals interested

in producing list-legal arrows for bridge battles, archers' battles, crevass

battles, or any confrontation where archers are called into play.  The Arrows

produced by this Method have been found to be the most reliable and stable

Arrows, with nary a problem.  Sionnaichan's first batch of thirty arrows

showed only one unusable arrow after an afternoon's play, which was much less

than other archers' differing styles.


Items and Tools needed: Standard practise target arrows; strapping tape (the

tape with the fibers in it); 1" wood dowel; duct tape (the more pliable type

with the visible lines is preferred); closed-cell foam, used for plumbing

insulation (size approximately 2" across); shears or a hacksaw; scissors that

can be trashed for cutting tape.




1. Get an arrow, or multiple arrows.  This can be had at stores that sell

archery equipment, stores that specialise in sports equipment (Sports

Unlimited stores are good ones in Trimaris), et cetera.  Make sure that the

arrow is rated to the weight of your bow or greater; current maximum poundage

for bows in Trimaris is 30# at 28 inches pull.


2. Lop the tip off the arrow (tin shears work well, or a hacksaw).  The tip is

unnecessary and potentially lethal; I would recommend disposing of it or (as

suggested by a McFrugal friend of mine) make it into jewelry.


2a. *Extremely useful tip*  Get some colored electrical tape in your personal

colors or at random, and place two to four strips of tape evenly spaced near

the fletching end.  This effectively marks your arrow as yours, as the colors

of the fletchings and the tapes are usually unique for your batch, and the

tape strips themselves are protected by the strapping tape below.  This works

much better than magic marker or crayon.

3. Use strapping-tape to cover the shaft of the arrow from about 1/2" from the

fletching (the feathers on the end the notch is) to about 4" from the cut end.

It works best if you use a tape slightly wider than the arrow's circumference,

and run it down the length of the arrow.  Carefully align the top and bottom

of the tape against the arrow, and wrap one side of the tape before the other.

This makes for less, possibly zero, ridges in the tape.


4. Drill a 1" wide dowel about 1 1/2" long with a hole the size of the arrow's

shaft, about 1" deep, and place this dowel on the cut end of the arrow.  Take

a length of strapping tape and go from the point where you stopped wrapping

the shaft, around the dowel's "point" end, to the other side of the arrow

where it meets the lengthwise tape.  You can optionally do another one 90

degrees from that one, to secure it both ways. If the dowel doesn't line up

with the arrow exactly, don't worry; you can use the strapping tape to adjust

it to some degree.


5. Get some closed-cell foam as used to insulate plumbing, I believe the 1

7/8" size, and use a facsimile of the pattern below [Fig 5A] sized to your

foam to cut the notches necessary to make it fit the best.  Use strapping tape

in an "X" pattern (extended to about the first inch of the foam "bullet") to

make this bullet shaped on the side with the most notches, and leave the

fletching end open to fit over the dowel. Take about 2/3 of the chunks left

over from the notch-cutting and stuff them in the bullet-shaped end, for

cushioning. I believe you need 1 1/2" to 2" of "thrusting tip" at the arrow's

"point" when done.


[Fig 5A]


|\/~~~\/~~~\/~~~\/~~~\/| <-- "bullet" or "tip" end

|                      |

|                      |  <-- this should be long enough to

|       Pattern        |      cover your arrow to the point

|                      |      where the strapping tape is.

|                      |

|/~~~\______/~~~\______| <-- end towards the fletching.


6. Place the packed foam "bullet" over the dowel, and fit it so that it is

true to the line of the arrow.  The dowel, as pointed out before, needs to be

as well-aligned as possible.  Use strapping tape to secure the foam "bullet"

in the same style as used to hold the dowel in place; however, the foam

"bullet" needs to be completely covered in strapping tape, to prevent broken

parts from protruding.  Wrap one way, then one at 90 degrees to that one, and

then a third and fourth one at 45 degrees from those two to cover the tip

completely. Make sure that the seam of the foam is covered by the center of

one of the strips of strapping tape.


7. This step intentionally left blank.


8. Wrap a two-inch chunk of duct tape (the cheaper tape tends to be more

smoothable, which allows for better aerodynamics) over the strapping-taped

"bullet", in the same way that the dowel was covered.


*Important fitting tip*  Cutting notches in the tip end of the unsmoothed

piece of duct tape allows you to form the duct tape to the arrow much more

cleanly than by "chunking" it into place; notches at the four places where the

tape bends 90 degrees are the best places.


8 cont. Wrap another piece of tape at 90 degrees to the above, using the same

tip to make it fit the best.


Your finished product should be an arrow covered with strapping tape from the

fletching to under where the duct tape meets the shaft, thereby preventing any

serious splintering from being exposed.  There should be no serious wobbling

of the tip when grasped firmly and moved around.  You should now have a

list-legal SCA arrow for your next war.  If you find an arrow has been stepped

on by an irate stickjock, keep the parts as just about everything can be used

again, if you are careful in disassembling the broken arrow.


My thanks to Lord Tempus of Trimaris for extremely useful tips, and for

journeying to Darkwater to instruct the Barony on the finer points of combat

archery and the construction of arrow.

In service to the Dream (and to the purveyors of "feathered death" in all the



Sionnaichan am Diolaimadh

mka Matt Drury

Darkwater, Trimaris



From: cat at fgssu1.sinet.slb.COM (CoreDumps`R'Us)

Date: 25 Nov 91 00:41:24 GMT

Organization: The Internet


William Briandust (formerly Royal Archer in the West) and I took

my combat archery legal 12th century reproduction cross-bow (made by

Master Iolo, of course...) and my collection of Ansteorran legal

cross-bow blunts (very much if not exactly the same as Markland blunts)

out to the abandoned rail-road grade by our office (we work at the same

place). We took William's flat heater and planted it on the embankment

and shot at it.  We measured the bounce-back of the blunts off the

shield, and the average bounce back was nine feet (we be both geologist -

we knowing how to measuring distance...).  The bounce-backs were always



So, as far as the current policy in the West is concerned, that Markland

style blunts do not require screen, I think it is wishful thinking.

I used to be of the opinion that the Markland style blunts were ok, but

after William showed me how they bounce back off of solid surfaces, I

changed my mind.  You will not catch me in the middle of a war without

screen, regardless of whether the combat archers are using bird-blunts

or Markland-style blunts.  I do not relish the thought of getting a nock

in my eye.


To wit, I say unto you from my lofty six foot height (achieved by standing

on the trusty mister soapbox), my opinion is that the current ruling in

the West, i.e. that Markland blunts can be safely used without archery screen,

is a bunch of crock.


William said he was going to protest the new ruling, but I have no idea

if he ever actually carried through with it.  Oh, and before all of you

start shotting arrows at Bill's little demonstration of bounce-back, we

planted the shield at normal shield height, just in case you were wondering...


Tux (who NEVER EVER is opinionated...  ;-]



From: c2p at stc06.ctd.ornl.GOV (PERKINS C C)

Date: 25 Nov 91 21:25:55 GMT

Organization: The Internet


At the last Fighter's Collegium here in Meridies, the following archery-related

decisions were made/announced:


We will _not_ be abandoning the "Markland blunt" system in favor of the

   Calontir-style golftubes and tennis balls.

As of the end of the Collegium, the golftube and tennisball javelin has

   been outlawed.  

As of the end of the Collegium, those stupid little throwing-axes ***1

   must have their cutting edges marked with tape.

New javelin designs are being sought and will be evaluated.

The "15-foot-rule" for archers has been eliminated.  The new rule is

   that archers are prohibited from firing while they are within "weapon's


The "light-you're-dead" rule has been tentatively eliminated.  We are now

   "evaluating" ***2 a "touch-kill" system.  ***3


***1) This is a strongly-held personal opinion.  I have yet to see a

   throwing axe which is: A) legal in design; B) in use; and C) is

   capable of delivering a blow which would be noticed through typical

   armor.  This makes them annoying to me.  Sorry if that offends you,

   but that's how I feel.

***2) "Evaluation" means that at any Meridian event which features Combat

   Archery, either the new or the old system may be used, and of course,

   that the Kingdom Earl-Marshall and the Deputy Marshall for Archery

   are soliciting opinions.

***3) Charges of deliberate use of excessive force used against archers or

   their gear will be investigated with extreme seriousness, up to and

   including the mundane authorities.  Archers are cautioned that if

   they get themselves tagged in a melee line, it's probably an accident,

   and they weren't supposed to be in weapon's range anyway.


So, as of 8 November, here is the summary of CA rules for Meridies:


Bows are 30# max at 28 inches draw, firing taped cedar shafts, tipped

   with wooden dowels and padding.  

Archers are required to wear basically full armor except for their

   arrow hand, which must at least have "a glove"... this need not

   even include fingers, by the current rules, btw.

Heavies have no changes required to their armor (i.e., no mesh).

Heavy archers have always been legal, though of course you're still

   an archer as long as you have *any* archery gear on you.

Javelin designs are being evaluated.

Archers may fire so long as they are outside of "weapon's range".

We are *evaluating* a "touch-kill" rule.



On safety: We have had no serious accidents with any CA system to date.

On effectiveness: Comments are mixed, but people who use bows

   significantly under the max 30# limit tend to end up complaining that

   the mean old heavies won't take their shots.  Everyone _hates_ having

   archery marshalls declare kills, except this group of archers.

On fun:  I love having archers in the battle, and plan to start popping

   up from behind people in bridge battles.  I've done the "stand and

   wait for enough people to die to let me play" thing long enough.


Bye for now.





From: zebee at ucs.adelaide.edu.au (Zebee Johnstone)

Date: 26 Nov 91 21:08:49 GMT

Organization: Information Technology Division, The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA


I suspect that in Lochac we do more combat archery than almost any other

area. We run our own rules, separate from the West, with their blessing.


Most people are light because they don't want to be heavies.  They don't

want to wear the armour, or they don't want to put that much physical

effort into it, or heaps of other reasons.


We require that each light has a crest on the helm, to make recognition easy.

We also enforce the 5 metre rule, any anyone caught violating it is

jumped on, whether heavy or light.  We have had no incidences I can

recall of lights being hit.


We do have a section of the light armour standards which requires a light

helm to be  capable of withstanding a blow from a heavy.  This is something

I disagree with, brcause a light should never be within weapon range.  If

the light thinks: "My helmet can take it, I'll be OK even if I am too close"

then that is asking for trouble.  Besides, it makes the armour inspection too

difficult. How is a marshal supposed to decide if the helm passes?


       Zebee Johnstone          |      

   Adelaide City Council       |  Motorcycles are like peanuts -

   zebee at itd.adelaide.edu.au     |   who can stop at just one?



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: John, R., Edgerton <sirjon at waffle.sns.com>

Subject: Re: combat archery and the EK

Keywords: Archery, combat, golftubes, marklands

Organization: Systems'n'Software, Fremont, CA  94539-6669

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 93 15:48:10 PST

       One comparison can be made between woodshaft arrows and

golftubes. In the Interkingdom Combat Archery Competition this year the

only kingdom that used golftubes to shoot the competition placed dead

last. All the other scores were shot with woodshaft arrows, both

Markland style and 3/4 inch rubber blunts.  The highest scores were made

with the 3/4 inch  blunts. The Middle had a score of 277.6 for first

place. Caid had a score of 260 for second place.  Both  used 3/4 inch  

blunts with woodshafts.  Ansteorra had 185.6 for fourth using Markland

style blunts.  Atlantia (birthplace of the golftube) had a score of 80.6

for seventh and last place.

       On the impact of combat blunts.  The golftube slows down faster

due its greater drag, therefore despite its greater weight its impact, at

longer ranges, is greatly reduced as it slows down quickly.  While the

Markland and 3/4 inch blunts have less drag and maintain their velocity

and impact longer.  Also the large size and slow speed of the golftubes

make them much easier to see and to dodge.   If you are using golftubes

at under ranges of twenty yards they would be just about as good as the

Marklands and would hit harder, but at longer ranges the Marklands and

3/4 inch blunts are more efficient.  In the West I have often picked off

archers and heavies from ranges of fifty or more yards.  And Wolf

Peacemaker would often do it at over seventy yards.

       If there were more IKCAC scores using golftubes it would be very

clear which is the better arrow.  Those of you that support the golftube

should see that the archers of your kingdom get together and shoot the

IKCAC next year with golftubes and support your beliefs with action.  

Perhaps at some of next years upcoming interkingdom wars, a war point

could be given for the IKCAC based on total score, this would encourage

as many archers  as possible to shoot.  Perhaps Lord Blackarrow might

arrange for such a shooting at Estrella X.  It would also be fun to form

two teams, one with golftubes and one with woodshaft arrows.  Line them

up facing each other at fifty yards and have them start shooting.  Would

anyone like to place a bet on who would win?

       There is no question that golftubes "work" and are "effective".  

The question is, are they anywhere near as effective as Marklands or 3/4

inch blunts?  Even if an archer using golftubes made more than thirty

kills at Estrella last year, how many more could he have made using more

accurate arrows?

Sir Jon Fitz-Rauf       John R. Edgerton

Kingdom of the West     California

Principality of the Mists       Newark

Shire of Esfen  7662 Wells Ave



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: John, R., Edgerton <sirjon at waffle.sns.com>

Subject: Combat Archery, Thistle Missile

Keywords: archery, arrows, marklands, golftubes, thistle

Organization: Systems'n'Software, Fremont, CA  94539-6669

Date: Fri, 10 Dec 93 18:47:14 PST


       Archer asked for information on Thistle Missiles.

Contact: Arrowsmith Products, 2768 Elm. St., Sutter CA,

95982. Or call Stephen Mac Alpine at (916) 755-0242.


Sir Jon Fitz-Rauf             John R. Edgerton

Esfenn, Mists, Wests


sirjon at waffle.sns.com  (John, R., Edgerton)


Free Public Access Internet BBS




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Thistle missile warning!!

From: trelaine at beacon.sci.org (Larry McCoy)

Date: Tue, 30 May 95 22:49:02 PST

Organization: Beacon BBS


I also would like to see ANY factual reports regarding same. As an old-time

fighter, and as a former archer, who started back when freon-can helms, hard

plastic on the knees, was all that was required as heavy fighter., who also

arched in my heavy gear.(including helm) I started arching using the old

Saunders blunts, before any kind of tape was required on the shafts. I recall

several incidents where shafts broke, and struck a fighter/and or light, but

never do I remember any SERIOUS injury from same. (I myself was struck in an

unprotected armpit by a broken shaft while at full draw).


Any time, an archer uses the wooden shaft type arrow, I'd heartily suggest

ordering the heavier shafts. ( 5/32" I thnk, it's been a while). I found that

even a heavy trodding and fighting over spent arrows, unless the terrain was

VERY uneven, seldom would crack one of my shafts. While the general archers

would lose mass quantities of the standard shafts in short order. At the

beginning of each war season, I'd order 3 dozen, and they'd last all year.

losing only about a third to breakage.


I'd also like to suggest that instead of using a single strand of reinforced

tape to spirally wrap the shaft, that if you use 2 strands, (resulting in a

slight overlap of tape) that it is next to impossible to break both strands

and have a broken arrow separate into independant missles of possible injury.


Just some thoughts from an old experienced occassionally one armed archer,

who used to arch quite well with two feet and one arm. (Just ask His Grace

Duke Frederick of Holland).


                                     In Service to Crown and Kingdom

                                     Master Sir Anluan Trelaine




From: james at nucleus.com (James Prescott)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Combat Archery

Date: 17 Apr 1995 06:22:57 GMT

Organization: Nucleus Information Service.


Deane Geiken (dgeiken at uiuc.edu) wrote:


<snip of Silfren about Lochac's use of 3/4 inch blunts>


: You mean you really simply use rabbit blunts on the end of regular arrow

: shaft??!!  Wow, now that may be some incentive to be a supporter of combat

: archery.  As I understand combat archery now, it does nothing to represent

: real combat archery and the true effectiveness of the longbow when used in

: mass numbers.  Could you please elaborate in detail on the construction of

: your arrows?  


The Kingdom of An Tir also uses the original 3/4 inch blunt style

of combat archery. Our rules are probably similar to Lochac's.


1) A 3/4 inch blunt (can be constructed from component parts, but

   we also manufacture a one-piece polyurethane blunt, and I think

   Lochac does so also) with particular characteristics of softness

   (to prevent excess bruising) and toughness (to prevent shaft


2) Ordinary wooden arrow with pile sawn off to get a flat wooden

   end. Max length 28 inches.

3) Cover shaft lengthways in tape (e.g. 7 mil PVC electrical or

   duct) between fletching and blunt.

4) If blunt will not stay on with a 10 pound pull, tape it onto the



That's it.


PLUSES: More authentic appearance and use. Can carry more arrows.

Simple and (relatively) inexpensive. Accuracy and range are great.

Less likely to snap than Marklands or Thistles.


MINUSES: Some heavies don't use good mesh that is properly

blackened, so they complain about visibility.


No one up here doubts the effectiveness of our combat archery.


All my best,

Thorvald Grimsson/James Prescott (james at nucleus.com)



From: Mike <meggiddo at netzero.net>

Date: January 9, 2010 12:38:06 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] weights in combat archery


James Crouchet wrote:

<<< Out of not so idle curiosity, anyone know what typical weights would be for

a combat crossbow bolt (say, baldar head for a 10" draw) and a combat long

bow arrow (baldar, 28" draw)?


Christian Doré >>>


The concern about the weight of an arrow in tradition or target archery does not applied in combat archery.  In saying this, there are specific brands or ratings for both the fiberglass and/or soliflex arrows shafts that are used.


Society level rules for combat archery ammunition and APDs, which Ansteorra now uses.


pg 15 and 16


Fiberglass shafts - high quality 1/4" solid fiberglass pultrusions custom formulated. Remember, fiberglass pultrusions are not created equal.

Two types of fiberglass manufacturers:

1.  "Extern" brand manufactured by Strongwell. At one time, Eadric Anstapa was selling this brand, not sure if he still is or not.

2.  Maclean - this is the manufacturer that North Star Archery uses.


Society level rules for combat archery ammunition and APDs, which Ansteorra now uses.


pg 17

Siloflex shafts - can also be used in this kingdom, not sure if anyone is though, rating for this is 100 psi. It would require a heavier crossbow than what is used for fiberglass. 800 inch pounds is the limit.

Using a recurve or long bow is limited to 40 lb., draw at 28 inches.


The below web site has a sub menu that lists by kingdom what is allowed and a list of suppliers:



One supplier that I have dealt with in the past - North Star Archery:



North Star has both tradition and SCA combat archery equipment, plus photo instructions on how to build the various types of legal SCA arrows and/or bolts.


Michael Kettering

Combat Archer

Missile Marshal



From: Eadric Anstapa <eadric at scabrewer.com>

Date: January 9, 2010 12:37:00 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] weights in combat archery


James Crouchet wrote:

<<< Out of not so idle curiosity, anyone know what typical weights would be for

a combat crossbow bolt (say, baldar head for a 10" draw) and a combat long

bow arrow (baldar, 28" draw)?


Christian Doré >>>


Most SCA crossbow bolts are setup for a power stroke of 8 inches from a 3 1/2 inch brace. Or an overall 11 1/2 inches from the mounted prod to the fingers of the release.  This is because those are the recommendations for most all the Alchem and and similar dimension prods that you can buy.   The overall crossbow bolts stat off with a 14" or so shaft.  Combat arrows are of course limited by the rules to 28 inches.


Constructed from Extren 500 Fiberglass shafts, Asgard APD, Classic Baldar Blunt

Combat Crossbow Bolt  ~61g

Combat Arrow   ~83g





Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 07:00:30 +0000

From: Tony Swallow <tony_swallow at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] What is a Knight? Another perspective.

To: <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


<<< I have the same difficulty with combat archery.  Is it that I don't

know enough about it?  Is there a variety of defences available using

skill with the bow?  When I defend I use sword and feet and body

movement for the best defence.  While I can defend using feet or body

alone, and Agrippa[1] mostly prefers that, he's on his own with most

masters using the off hand or whatever is in it as the defence with

foot and body movement as part of it.  The stop thrust, which would be

the equivalent of shooting the bod running at you, is only one option

and not all that often used. >>>


The short answer is yes, defences in Combat archery can be grouped into Active defence, and Passive defence.


Passive defences are used to minimize the chances that you will be a good target, they are the equivalent of your basic stance for Heavy/rapier. You can either pick a location, behind a tree or other cover, and/or Develop a movement style that makes it hard for people to guess where you will be next, Rule #1, keep moving (closely followed by Rule #2, keep moving). When House Drakkar train they have a simple rule of shooting anyone who stands still for 4 seconds, just to remind them! I personally use more movement and Less cover, this is a personal thing that suits my style better. A "Good" Combat archer should be able to use both.


Active defence is your ability to not be there should you see someone loosing at you, it is a blend of the twin skillsets of awareness and movement, this is the functional equivalent of using shields parries and footwork to defend yourself in rapier and Heavy.


Sometimes you might deliberately place yourself in a position that makes you at greater risk to improve your overall contribution to to your sides combat effectiveness. By deliberately engaging with multipule opponents you force them to react to your attacks, thus reducing their combat effectiveness, in short if you have 4 people shooting at you then as long as you are alive that's 4 people who aren't killing you teammates.


Then come attacks, and it isn't all a simple matter of carefully lining up your opponent, waiting for the Zen moment before loosing, there is much more to it than that!


All in all it is a blend of skills, some of which can be practised, some of which can only be earnt by training/fighting. Ironically the best way to learn some of these defensive skills has nothing to do with what you are doing with the weapon in your hand. In particular Passive and active movement skills can be best practiced by having a whole bunch of people shoot at you while you duck and dodge. Additionally these battlefield survival skills are not unique to Combat archers. If you are a dedicated 2 hand weapon heavy you WILL be an arrow target, and thus should practise them as often as possible! You would be surprised to discover how easy it is to stay alive, sure you will get shot up, but where would you prefer to do that? at your local training session, or 5 seconds after Lay on is called at Rowany festival?


I would invite any heavies, be it an individual, household or geographical group to train with me, I can guaruntee that I can improve your survivability on the field, and thus your combat effectiveness.


Your Humble Landsknecht

Jochen Schwalbe



Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 15:14:23 +1300

From: masterwolf at optusnet.com.au

Subject: [Lochac] Combat Archery at CF

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

      <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


This year at CF we had something relatively new happen and i thought

i would share it


As those of you that attend CF will know our wars are fought at a

comfortable viewing distance from the Mangy Mongol coffee and

refreshment emporium allowing spectators to enjoy wars in comfort.


This year we asked some of the spectators to join in.


This was done to provide additional archers to several scenarios

which had been modified to include the additional archer support and

audience particpation


The sideline archers all had combat legal bows and blunts and a

secure firing position some 20m from the action with a range marshal

to keep things safe.  (they were of course unable to be killed to shot back at)


Those of us on the field quickly discovered that 10 - 15 archers

firing volleys from the sidelines changed your tactics very quickly

and the onfield archers and heavys quickly developed tactics to take

advantage of the confusion.


The end result was a lot of audience participation, a heck of a lot

of fun, and a lot of interest in Combat Archery.


To this end a number of people in the Crescent Isles are looking to

develop a CA Kit to be taken along to events to get people involved


The CA Kit will comprise of


- 1 set of Elbow and Knee Cops (one size fits most)

- Minimal 1/2 Gauntlets (again a common size fits most)

- Gorget or mail drape that can be easily attached to helms

- kidney belt

- removable mesh with straps

- 20 Combat Arrows Fletched in Lochac Colours

- Combat Quiver embossed with the device of the local group


This CA kit will allow a keen person with a loaner helm and a box to

get out on the field and try CA without needed to spend a lot of

money.  Each Barony, Shire or household interested in the idea would

make/purchase a kit and carry it with them to events.


What we are calling for is Lochac Artisans who feel they can provide

this sort of kit as cheaply as possible so we can make it available

to local groups as a package deal.


If you are an armourer or fletcher and are interested in being part

of this idea please contact me off list.


Luan an Fael



Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:11:02 +1300

From: masterwolf at optusnet.com.au

Subject: [Lochac] Some Combat Archery Ideas from Canterbury Faire

To: lochac at lochac.sca.org, archers at sca.org.au


This year at CF we tried a few new combat archery scenarios to see if

we could find a balance that allowed archers to be effective but

stopped them being game breakers in small wars.


These worked out really well so i thought i would share them for

comment and use in the rest of the kingdom.


1. Resurrection from Archer kills - Normal battle except that you

could resurrect after being killed by an archer.  Res points were set

10m or so back from the action so it required a bit of a walk but

nothing too onerous. Kills by heavies were as normal


This worked really well as archers had to think tactically and work

with heavies to make a gap the heavies could then exploit. Several

fighters had the experience of returning from the res point to find

the opposing army waiting for them after the loss of their

shield/pike/etc caused a hole that the enemy were waiting for.


2. Proof Plate (or equivalent armour) - Usual fun but required the

archers to place their shots a lot more carefully all helms except

for those with solid visors were treated as open face so shots to the

mesh were still effective.


Still not 100% certain that chain should count as plate (as was the

case at CF) but the rule did advantage some fighters over others and

caused a lot of tactical thinking.  The reason the "or equivalent"

was added in was for those in full lammelar armour who felt a little

hard done by with the rule as it originally stood.


3. Counted blows on armour - blows on armour (inc helms) required 3

kills to count - If the last kill was by an archer you got to

resurrect as per option 1 above - if by a heavy you were dead. This

did have the downside of requiring people to count whilst wearing a

helm but otherwise worked quite well.  Archers would land one or two

shots on a particular fighter and then leave them for the heavies to

finish off.  alternately legging the heavies become a popular option

for archers.


Archers wearing plate were particularly fond of rule 2 and 3 :-)


All of these rules meant that archers could an important play a part

but not ruin the game for anyone (we had 4 archers and about 20- 25

heavies at CF)  It also made people think tactically and not just the

archers - heavy fighters in light armour needed to be wary and shield

walls had to be able to adapt quickly to loosing a shield and turtle

up until the re-enforcements arrived.  Attackers learned to move

quickly when a hole appeared and there was a lot of maneuvering to

make the most of any advantage your archers could give you.


All in all a fun set of rules.  Not sure how well they would work on

a large battlefield, but quite good for smaller wars.





Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 15:28:12 +0800

From: "Kerryn Ward & Duncan Bailey" <vesania at internode.on.net>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] "WHam" Stories

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

      <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


Another Archer Wham story.

Fesitival several years back.


I see Jochen jumping in and out from behind a line of large roman shield

decimating our ranks. Leofric stealthily takes the left flank as I stand in

the open taking pot shots at Jochen to distract him. As Jochen takes careful

aim at me Leofric lands a well placed arrow right on his chest. Teamwork

rules if your to kill our Humble Landsknecht.


Take two same scenario, with Lord Jochen out of the way, I race up behind

our armoured fighters trying to stop the opposition from fording the "river"

Standing on a high slope I begin to take one man out after the other, my

arrows flying between the helms of my own side until I hear a shout go

up. "Someone kill that archer" Suddenly archers appear from out of the trees

and from behind shield walls, as I turn to flee the sky is full of arrows

and I resign myself to my fate as I am struck on the back by untold number

of arrows.


Lesson one don't piss off the enemy as you can only dodge so many arrows.

(I really must find the video footage as that was a wonderful day)





From: "Rebecca Bassett" <chabi at gru.net>

Date: June 10, 2011 2:24:17 AM CDT

To: <the-triskele-tavern at googlegroups.com>

Subject: RE: {TheTriskeleTavern} Fw: Combat Archery at Duke U


If you get the 40-45, it will be a nice target bow.  I would not recommend shooting your combat arrows with the higher poundage bow as you can potentially cause damage to the heads.  The UHMW heads and the new Asgard CUBBs (with the UHMW core) will most likely be okay but it is not recommended.  The old style Asgards with the nylon insert would definitely be damaged and the higher poundage bow could potentially cause the shaft to punch through the insert.



From: jdrago75 <jdrago75 at GMAIL.COM>

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] combat archery

Date: July 28, 2013 10:01:16 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu


I would like to point out that Calontir no longer allows golf tube arrows on the combat field, only Siloflex construction arrows are allowed for use in Kingdom.


The average heavy combat fighter can acquire a bow with enough power to use Siloflex arrows and anyone, by reading the instructions in the Kingdom handbook, can build them for a relatively cheap cost and a minimum of tools.


The point made that they can be knocked out of the air is true, if you see it coming and can react in time. I've personally seen them in use at the ravine battle at Gulf Wars and 4 times out of 5 they are just as effective as the Mark II or Baldars of getting someone's attention.

Target crossbows can not use Siloflex arrows but a nonshelf longbow can. I have also seen people tape a PVC "shelf" on their recurve bow to help hold the Siloflex arrow on since it can be difficult to shoot a bow with half or full gauntlets.


-Lord William Douglas



On Jul 28, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at AUSTIN.RR.COM> wrote:


On Jul 28, 2013, at 5:59 PM, Kazimierz Verkmastare <kaz at NOGY.NET> wrote:

Better?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on your criteria.  You are correct that technically the thin shafted arrows have longer range, better accuracy, and you can carry more.  If that is your criteria for being better in the mixed field game, then by your criteria thin shafted arrows are better. But if you factor in elements that are not specifically technically about the ballistics of an arrow, you might reach a different conclusion, and sacrifice a bit of accuracy and range for gameplay more suited to the desired outcome.  So subjectively it fits what we want to do better.


<<< Yes. I happy to hear multiple opinions.  And since, as I mention, most of what I've got in the Florilegium, I think, is oriented more toward the thin-shafted combat archery than golf tube arrows, I'm open to adding that side of the story to the Florilegium.>>>


When you can send an arrow accurately across a battlefield from one end to the other with a 30 pound bow, that is not historically accurate for most battles with a major involvement of archery.  I suspect that in percentage of battlefield area in which an archer would be directly effective (point of aim shooting) the larger arrows are more representative of the historical reality, being able to accurately range only about 40-50% or less of our average battlefield with any kind of accuracy.


<<< An interesting point. I will be adding this message to the c-archery-msg file in the Florilegium. >>>


I suggest that we can deliver a harder blow, easier to acknowledge in heavier armor.  We can use a heavier bow, more realistic in the effect it has over time on the archers.  We don't need any special armor for anyone to participate, watch, or marshal.  Our arrows are easy to identify, they don't need constant re-inspection, and they are inherently safer.  Our arrows materials can be sourced locally by anyone, and built without special equipment or skills.   It makes the game easier to participate in by our standards, and creates what I consider an adequately dangerous and effective archery force without archery becoming a nuclear weapon.


<<< What about the point that the golf-tube arrows can easily be knocked out of the air by most spearman? >>>


So consider it what you will, technicalities aside.  It is a best fit for us, so we consider that in the name of the game as we play it it is preferable.  Others have a different opinion, and they play the game they feel best suited.  And if a better fit for us comes along, we will adopt it.


And you know, while there are a few details to building a heavy arrow, there are not many things that can be written technically.


<<< Umm. You have been doing it for a while. What about the new archer? Can they easily make arrows using just the rules for them?


Can you use the same bows (and crossbows) for both golf-tube arrows and target arrows? >>>


As for tactics and best use and that sort of thing, well, since most of the types on the field that actually practice Calontir combat archery have some background in hunting and sport archery away from the SCA, they simply learn to shoot what they have at the same types of targets that they would engage with another system.  I have seen and been involved in a LOT of Calontir combat and siege missile weapon activities, and I can't say that we make significant use of any other historical precedence or developed archery tactics except ''it's wearing (insert opposition tape color here), shoot it, and if you miss and it gets too close then hit it with a stick."  Target priority being the same in a battle, archers just might have a few more options to engage the priority targets.


<<< Sounds a lot like what I think I would have heard in the early days of the SCA about shield walls.  Until Calontir showed that an organized shield wall can be much more effective than an impromptu one. >>>


Not exactly Floregium stuff, but it gets the job done for us.


<<< Useful enough that I think it deserves being placed in a message file.


Here is some of what I have on combat archery. It's been a while since I looked at most of them, but I'm not sure if the tactics mentioned apply to both types of combat archery or not.  Hence, my interest in adding more information on the golf-tube version, especially for those who have not been involved with it before. >>>


And those, if there are any, with a more developed sense of tactics and authenticity with our gear will, I am certain, be happy to provide all kinds of information.


<<< Please do. >>>




<<< Stefan >>>



From: christopher roehr <lordkirkm at YAHOO.COM>

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] combat archery

Date: July 30, 2013 8:07:34 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu


Kaz pretty much laid it out well. I would only add a few points according to a few of your questions.


<<< What about the point that the golf-tube arrows can easily be knocked out of the air by most spearman? >>>


-----Yes, the tubes do fly a bit slower so they can get knocked out of the air easier. Tacticlly, I simply adjust to fighting as far up in the line as possible to take out targets just outside what ever the minum distance may be for the war. (for a 10' rule just stand by a spearman to judge my range) This way my targets have little chance of stopping my arrows before they hit.


<<< Umm. You have been doing it for a while. What about the new archer? Can they easily make arrows using just the rules for them? >>>

------The tube arrows are very easy to make. The trip to the store to buy siloflex, tennis balls, and tape is more difficult than buying. And as already pointed out the instructions are very simple to follow. With a band saw, drill, glue gun, and a few sets of helping hands; we could crank out bushels of arrows pretty easily.

<<< Can you use the same bows (and crossbows) for both golf-tube arrows and target arrows? >>>


------You can if you want to, but I would advise against it. Bows are a tool so it's best to remember to have the right tool for the right job. What you use for target shooting you'll fine tune toward target shooting. As with a combat bow which will be tuned for CA. Plus, what ever bow you take onto the battlefield you have to be ready to loose to damage. I use an old Bear recurve I found cheap with the aforementioned enlarged shelf. I have it strung for 45lbs at a 28" draw. If it gets broken on the field I'll still have my long bow for target. Plus, I won't be too upset about it since I only paid $45 for it about 10 yrs ago.


<the end>

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