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A Battle Report, February 1998 
By Stephen Francis Wyley 

A view from the inside of the ringfort Sigurdsted

Some of the problems which surfaced at the Projectile Combat section of the Vlachernai Archery Event were;

1. A chap turned up late with a pc helm with a wire mesh visor. The visor was fine, however there was a huge gap between his visor and his face and neck. He was directed to use one of the correct helms available.

2. Another chap turned up with a pc helm with wire mesh visor with a mail aventail attached correctly. However, his arming cap did not join up with his gambeson collar leaving large amounts of bear throat just under the mail. In this situation mail by itself is not sufficient armour. A better fitting arming cap with neck protection was provided.

3. An archer was pointed out to me after the combat as wear just a light glove with the fore and middle fingers removed. This practice is carried out by members of the SCA and is not allowed under NVG Inc. Combat Rules and Safety Standards. It is recommended that archers were leather gloves at least.

4. Another Archer presented at inspection with a wooden self longbow marked as 30 pounds at 25 inches. The explainion was that the archer's draw length was only 25 inches and while using arrows made to 28 inches would not be drawn any further. This explaination was not accepted by the inspecting marshal because the archer was of a size suspected of having a longer draw length than 25 inches and the "safety first policy" was initiated. A bow of correct poundage was offered for use during the event.

The archer may have avoided the situation by having 25 inch arrows. However, other archer would not be able of using his arrows (especially if missile re-use was allowed in combat) because of the risk of overdrawing the bow.

5. A number of times during the battles archers were given harder hits than necessary, no actual harm was done but a breach of the rules still happened and must not re-occur. Under the NVG Inc. rules an archer, javelineer or other missile hurler must only be touched with an opponets weapon to me considered killed. I, as marshal assumed all those participate understood the rules.

6. At the end of one of the battles were the "Baddies" had performed a splendid and successful frontal assault on the gate one of the "Goodies" who had sallied forth from the rear of the ringwork succeeded in outflaking the "Baddies" still at the gate. However, a "HOLD" had already been called as all those inside had been slain and the combatant in question ran up behind the opposition and started to give their helm some extra dints. The call to "HOLD" was not passed on suffiently or the extra padding interfered with hearing of the combatant. Something to watch out for in future. It could be a problem is the combatant was loosing arrows amougst combatant removing their helms.

7. The were not enough helms for all those who wished to participate. There were eight spare helms provided by the organizers and still it was not enough. Next time I suggest that people bring their own. It's not that hard to make. "How to make a Projectile Combat Helm" is available to those who need it.

8. The were not enough infantry and too many archers. The side which had the greater number of archers won on most occasions. This is find if you wish to recreate battles similar to the defeats of the French by the English. Normally, the archers occupy the flanks and the infantry the centre. So to change this for the next lot of pc battles I call on all infantry to make, borrow or buy a pc helm.

That's about all, there were no injuries or gripes reported to the marshals. Thanks again to all those whom participated, aided and spectated. 

Preparing for battle

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