Notes from Windward: #63


Pictures from Ragnaroc

      The first to arrive on the battle field were the siege engineers seen here setting up a trebouchet aimed at the castle gate.

     For this first year, we used a stack of hay bales to simulate the castle gate. That worked well for a number of reasons; in addition to the safety issue, since it's hard to get hurt ramming a bale of hay, there was the physical fact that even when the "gate" had been knocked down, the attackers still had to climb over the fallen bales, an exercise which simulated having to deal with the debris that would have been left if an actual gate had been smashed with a battering ram.


  

      On the day of the great battle, fighters start to warm up as the engineers make final adjustments to their siege engine.

     This shot gives a good view of the fighting deck's design back along the section where the wall starts to turn back to guard the castle's flank.




     His Majesty Davin arrives to check out the castle before the battle commences.


  

     Before the battle, the fighters gather around to review the battle scenario and safety rules. Essentially, it's okay to kill people, so long as no one gets hurt.



  


     The engineers start the battle by launching a massive stone at the fortress.

     Well, actually it's a simulation of a massive stone created by duct-taping four tennis balls together. It's not lethal, but it will still give you a pretty good "whack" if you get in its way.

     The battle scenarious which involved attacking the castle required that the trebuchet actually hit the castle gate before the attackers could storm their way in. It took the engineers about ten trys to get the range and angle worked out, but that's siege work for you. Siege weapons aren't "rapid response" weapon systems, and infantry soldiers from any era can attest to how universal is the order to "hurry up, get into position, and wait."


     Fighters guarding the gate take shelter under the high deck and play a waiting game as the trebuchet works out the range.


  

     As the battle raged in the pasture, the merchants went about their business. The merchanting area was laid out along the main north-south lane that runs through the campground. That stretched things out somewhat, but that way every merchant could locate where they had both frontage and shade.


  

     After the battle, it's time to tell tales of valor and skill, in the shade of course.




     And not all of the fighters chose to "fight fair" in open battle, preferring instead to use the cover of the forest to their advantage.



     Or to test their skill on the "Rus Run," a course set up for archery, spear and knife with targets at various distances and elevations along the creek bed.


Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 63