How to improve battles?

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DomT
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Post by DomT »

oh yes. I think that the Vike method leads to a much greater ability to control and have intresting scripts.

On the battlefield I see it as the (currently) better method. In the past it has lead to stagnation (ie two lines going tappity tap) whereas Medieval was more dynamic (lots of vary sized households manuvering like all get out).
However the Vike looked at this and used their more rigid command lines to be able to 'script events' far more. The result is by all accounts a more entertaining battle both to watch and fight in. I understand that combat rules have been altered to make the line fight more intresting as casulties drop in and out of the line?
Medieval has however suffered from fear of accident, actual accidents and fear of H&S issues and has slowley reigned in the freedoms. Archers no longer engage infantry, horse and artillery 'lanes' constrict already tight fields and we end up with 'three clashes, a parley and a few champions' at the bulk of events. I'm not saying that these safety concerns are bad but our general lack of organisation has resulted in the very thing many of us left Dark Ages becuase of.
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Post by tonw »

Which event was it this season gone that had the sitpulation of

Commanders must attend commanders meetings on both days otherwise their units will no be permitted to participate in the battle on that day.

Worked well on saturday

Sunday hardly anyone turned up to the meeting but everyone went on the feild.

A play out of the battle could be done on friday night/staurday morning with the discussion actually being related to the battle not any previous battle or how good the beer was the night before



Going back to Medieval now

I've tried this with a few small groups in a small field and it seemed to work fairly well

break the army as it already is done so into 3 block

right ,middle, left

split the commanders roughtly evenly through the blocks

and have block commanders much like Alan Harley though he seems to run himself rampant up and down the whole thing.

So now you have

Army Commander + guard
Block Commanders + guard
Household Commanders + Households

in the battle you have the army commander controlling things relaying what should be happening through his block commanders who then relay through the household commanders,

When I tried it I was part of a group of 60 and it seemed to flow fairly well

Though of course there is the issue of who should be a block commanders and do they have the presence to command the household and take orders etc
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Post by Nigel »

I've done the Vile thing as a unit commander at everyhing up to and inc luding Hastings 2000 where I commanded the Norman centre.

Same problems except add in a major language barrier or 15

But unit commanders and others ie characters were at a briefing a first light on Saturday 8 am I think

Our meeting lasted some 2 hours but we all were aware of who was who and actions on etc etc so when the battle had to stop and it did tewice it stopped very quickly.

If a bunch of people like us can manage it why cannt the 15th century types.

BTW horse lanes are no pronblem its the over reglation of artillery that amazes me

Also we allow our archers to actually shoot people.

Nige


Finally I would like to say that follwing a long thought I ahve lodged a compalint with Cal about the behaviour of one on here . If he has been banned from one site I can inderstand why and given his trolling I beleive he should be banned from here.
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Nigel wrote:
Finally I would like to say that follwing a long thought I ahve lodged a compalint with Cal about the behaviour of one on here . If he has been banned from one site I can inderstand why and given his trolling I beleive he should be banned from here.
As have I, epsecially since being Pm'd and threatend with Libel. :roll:
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Post by Alan_F »

Nigel wrote:If a bunch of people like us can manage it why cannt the 15th century types.
I can't say for sure, although I would hazard a guess that a lot of groups are used tot he status quo and don't like to deviate from that.

Someting else that I would like to see more of is people using the area that is given to them to fight in - for example, how often have you done a battle at at castle, set up the LH area inside it, but when it comes to the actual fighting you've all had to march onto a field outside the castle?

If done well, I can see that being very interesting both to watch and take part in.
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Post by Skevmeister »

Gyrth, Nige, can I suggest that we stay on topic and rise above it all. I understand your feelings I have my won opinions but we have made them clear and informed the relevant people.

So really nuff said aint it Gentleman.

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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Skev,
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Post by Fillionous »

Use of castles...
Again we bump into H&S issues (loose stone work etc.) and various ristrictions along the lines of owners not wanting the re-enactors to 'hurt' thier castle.
Sometimes there are also space issues, either for the re-enactors, but more often for safe areas for the crowds to sit / stand and watch.

There is one castle which we re-enact at where the morning skermish is done in front of the castle and across it's bridge. But the larger main battle is round the back on a wide open field... this seems to be a good comprimise.
(Also the skirmish needs few re-enactors allowing those who had a bit to much the night before to wake up and recover in time for the afternoon.. :P :twisted: )

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Post by tonw »

I think we could manage it but I imagine Hastings has alot of background planning before the actual commanders meetings.

I do not want to slight the WotR's groups here but I am not sure as to the level of planning that happens before a battle other than arranging the site and size of the feild and the basic plan of the fight.

If someone can shed more light on this would be greatly appreciated

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WotR's could be more organises by simply walking through the battle on the morning where they're supposed to be when they should move etc etc
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

tonw wrote:I think we could manage it but I imagine Hastings has alot of background planning before the actual commanders meetings.
Actually Tonw, Hastings is the easiest one to do, because there is so much documented evidence, and we cant change it. Plus we do it year in year out.

It's the other smaller shows where we try to look at any local historical battle for the area, or to fit in with the wishes of the customer.

Most of our scripts are then written either using any information or if not we just write a script knowing that either the Viking army or the Saxon will win. and tend to put what we want in between that. In doing so though, we like to show as kmuch as we can around the different manouvres and tactics used. But again this is all scripted and sent out before hand.
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Post by gregory23b »

Golly how times seem to have changed.

Out of interest anyone here attend or remember the battle of Solefields - part of Jack Cade's rebellions, ooh circa 1990/91 down at Sevenoaks?

It was a WOTR multi group as then most groups were tiny, but we had quite a complex script in that lots was happening at the same time with different groups but everyone had to take part in the walk through, everyone not just the orifices. From what I remember it went pretty smoothly with a very friendly but vigorous bash between groups that had barely known each other.
The rehearsal was of prime importance as everyone knew where we were supposed to be. I guess some events still do full walkies?

But out of interest may I ask what the logic is of not allowing archers to shoot non-archers if required? The only reason I ask is because it would seem they are at much less risk of being face shot that archers who are shooting each other as they invariably are looking up to shoot. Having been on the receiving end of arrows in both cases I would rather be shot at in the line whilst advancing than when shooting back. Fair enough that they may not be shot during the engagement, but during the advance? or have I misinterpreted that?

That is aside to archers actually shooting each as they should, but more in the reenactment context.
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Post by Guest »

Dont understand the archers not arching at everyone myself.

In the Vike (sorry to keep using it as an example) the archers are used throughout the battles. Sometimes for a breather to take on water whilst they do lob shots at the enemy, but also in key stages of battles.

They are also allowed to loose at a non arching opponent, and the arrows count as kills or wounds, if they are fairly close it is asked they make eye contact with the target as a matter of courtesy. But it doesnt stop them picking us off in the line. and if reacted to by the victim also looks better for the audience.

Dont like archers myself, prefer to see the look of fear in the eyes of the enemy, :twisted: but know that they are needed :lol:

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Post by tonw »

[quote="Gyrthofhwicce]Most of our scripts are then written either using any information or if not we just write a script knowing that either the Viking army or the Saxon will win. and tend to put what we want in between that. In doing so though, we like to show as kmuch as we can around the different manouvres and tactics used. But again this is all scripted and sent out before hand.[/quote]

You have your scripts sent out to you?

That seems like a bloody good idea to me that a script should be sent out with the warring orders.

The battle at Blore this year tried to be a good show and prolly looked really good for the people at the yorkist camp but the poor lancastrian scum just had arses and helms to look at nothing much of interest.

I thought it was far to complicated a battle plan with too much information and too short a time to take it all in that added with the WTF???? factor when something didn't go to plan.
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Anonymous wrote:Dont understand the archers not arching at everyone myself.

In the Vike (sorry to keep using it as an example) the archers are used throughout the battles. Sometimes for a breather to take on water whilst they do lob shots at the enemy, but also in key stages of battles.

They are also allowed to loose at a non arching opponent, and the arrows count as kills or wounds, if they are fairly close it is asked they make eye contact with the target as a matter of courtesy. But it doesnt stop them picking us off in the line. and if reacted to by the victim also looks better for the audience.

Dont like archers myself, prefer to see the look of fear in the eyes of the enemy, :twisted: but know that they are needed :lol:

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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

tonw wrote:[quote="Gyrthofhwicce]Most of our scripts are then written either using any information or if not we just write a script knowing that either the Viking army or the Saxon will win. and tend to put what we want in between that. In doing so though, we like to show as kmuch as we can around the different manouvres and tactics used. But again this is all scripted and sent out before hand.
[/quote] You have your scripts sent out to you? .[/quote]

Yes, normally e-mailed out to all unit commanders, BUT bear in mind we are normally one society, which would make it easier, not sure logistically how this would work for a multi society bash.

For Hastings this year we are lucky in that all visiting groups sign on to our structure of fighting and field command, so effectivley it is the Vikings unit commanders leading all the units.[/b]
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Post by Nigel »

[quote="

Yes, normally e-mailed out to all unit commanders, BUT bear in mind we are normally one society, which would make it easier, not sure logistically how this would work for a multi society bash.

For Hastings this year we are lucky in that all visiting groups sign on to our structure of fighting and field command, so effectivley it is the Vikings unit commanders leading all the units.[/b][/quote]

It work swhen we play together I have always had a copy of the script before hand.Even written 2 or 3 myself and the system works

Not all the divs at Hastings are commanded by the vike Norman centre has been offered to us and we will be officering it. But under vike scripting
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Nigel wrote:[quote="

Yes, normally e-mailed out to all unit commanders, BUT bear in mind we are normally one society, which would make it easier, not sure logistically how this would work for a multi society bash.

For Hastings this year we are lucky in that all visiting groups sign on to our structure of fighting and field command, so effectivley it is the Vikings unit commanders leading all the units.[/b]
It work swhen we play together I have always had a copy of the script before hand.Even written 2 or 3 myself and the system works

Not all the divs at Hastings are commanded by the vike Norman centre has been offered to us and we will be officering it. But under vike scripting[/quote]

Yes but your considered a memebr of the Vike Nigel, cos we all luv ya.
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Post by EmanwelOfGwent »

In defence of the medieval system, it can work pretty well - 30 group leaders on the field shouldn't be a problem, if, as I remember at my first tewkesbury, there a 3 commanders on each side, sorting out in general what the groups in his third of the field are doing, and if the group leaders talk to each other and co-operate.

On a practical note a can't really see members of independant groups, even in a federation being willing to be "officered" by someone they may never have met before - its different if there's a commander moving up and down the line who knows what's going across the field.

the H&S concern seems to be a rather uneven - so at tewkesbury there are wide gun lanes that constrict the battlefield but one narrow gate that all the combatants and spectators try to leave through after the battle.

I've been at small battles were the whole (quite complicated) script was explained to everyone at muster - though that wouldn't work for big events.
not sure logistically how this would work for a multi society bash.
The script could be handed out on arrival, if trying to send it to all the attending groups would be too difficult - that'd give a few hours at least for people to read it and understand it, commanders arriving the day before the first battle would be able to point out any problems at the first commanders meeting.

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Post by Alan_F »

gregory23b wrote:The rehearsal was of prime importance as everyone knew where we were supposed to be. I guess some events still do full walkies?
Some do, the problem is timing - a lot of events start earlier and earlier, so you can have MOPs walking around the place at unearthly hours of the morning. Which leaves the campsite pretty open.
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Post by tonw »

EmanwelOfGwent wrote:
On a practical note a can't really see members of independant groups, even in a federation being willing to be "officered" by someone they may never have met before - its different if there's a commander moving up and down the line who knows what's going across the field.
Well to conter act this

The Officer would be commanding a smaller section of the battle so would be just like the commander moving up and down but they have a small area to command.

So this would be down to the organisers stating who was in command.

As such they Officer would not be Officering groups but directing the battle in his part of the feild under the direction of the feild commander for X side.

I think I may have made myself a little unclear on my first post.
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Post by EmanwelOfGwent »

Ah yes, terminology problems - that is the ideal state of play, having an officer for a part of a large battlefield.
Incidentally, I remember there being a system like this at tewkesbury, the last year on the old site (my first battle :D ) but not since. I wonder if there a particular reason for doing away with the system?

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Post by guthrie »

I thought the marshals were there to remind unit commanders of where and when to go, and that when a marshal says "Get the **** back" you are supposed to retreat. Whether its marshals or individual unit commanders or wing commanders or whatever, the key is having an easily identifiable individual with actual command powers teling people what to do.
Personally, when I have seen things work, it has been a combination of unit commanders breifing, and marshals on the field backing them up and reminding them of things.

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Post by EmanwelOfGwent »

I've never actually been told to attack by a marshal (though it'd be quite nice to hear "Get ******* stuck in!" from one of them) its more when to retreat, when to die, keep out of the gun lanes, safety stuff and things that happen on the spur of the moment, whereas the commanders tell groups where they're suppose to be in the line, when to charge, how to recieve a charge etc and the group commanders sort their groups out to do what the commander says. I suppose how complicated it is depends on the size of th battle.

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Post by tonw »

The problem with that is marhsals get the info on the run so act accordingly and they are supposed to be there to ensure safety not fluidity.

Having been a marshal at a good number of events this year I've had as much knowledge of the battle as the combatants and have been there to act as safety guy and to watch the battle and make sure people pull back when everyone else does.

If marshals were to have the battle plan they could quite possibly do the block commander role aswell answering to the feild commander and then relaying the "Orders" as it were
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Post by guthrie »

Yes, thats a godo point Tonw about marshals. What I was thinking wasin part that marshals are easilty recognisable people who can tell everyone to move; whereas unless you have proper good unit commanders, it can be rather hard getting groups of men moving back and forwards correctly, since some of the commanders dont have proper command, or are too busy fighting themselves to care about where their unit is supposed to be.

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This thread seems to have got a little heated...


You know - you don't have to respond to every little thing that's said here.

Having been through the thread following complaints from several people, it seems that several of you have got a little excited.

I'm not going to pull the thread, nor issue warnings directly to the worst individuals.

Instead cop this for a general warning.

1) Just 'cos someone is rude to you, you don't need to be rude back

2) Just 'cos it's an interesting topic, doesn't mean to say you have to get all heated

3) You don't have to respond to every post that's made
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Post by gregory23b »

Bit late cal, seriously, I had to back track to see what happened, it was a mere blip. The Wicca one was worse by a long margin and longer running, did you get my pm re mods?

Seems PMs are erratic in going, logged as sent but not always received.
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Post by Ben Rodgers »

What were the probablity of archers running acroos the battle field to pick up arrows by chance the only reason i say this is it would better the archers once they finished actually started to engage on foot . I know this idea was previously been discussed on another thread.
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Post by Simon Atford »

Dave B wrote:O.K.

Another pet beef. When I have just done my very best to do a really extra heroic dramatic death on the crowd line, don't stroll over and shout 'eh love - do you want some water' 'come on love 'ave some water'
I quite agree! Damn nearly got drowned at Caldicot a few years ago when somebody tried to pour water into my mouth whilst I was trying to lie dead upon the field. Isn't talking to the dead necromancy and therefore witchcraft :twisted:

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Post by Alan_F »

Simon Atford wrote:
Dave B wrote:O.K.

Another pet beef. When I have just done my very best to do a really extra heroic dramatic death on the crowd line, don't stroll over and shout 'eh love - do you want some water' 'come on love 'ave some water'
I quite agree! Damn nearly got drowned at Caldicot a few years ago when somebody tried to pour water into my mouth whilst I was trying to lie dead upon the field. Isn't talking to the dead necromancy and therefore witchcraft :twisted:
At the same time somone lying on the deck could also be someone collapsed with heat exhaustion.
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