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Minas Tirith Forums » Fantasy Games » Proper fighting (re-enactment) (Page 7)
Author Topic: Proper fighting (re-enactment)
Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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Thanks Eoric thats a good idea!! I am going to start searching now. thanks again. []
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Éoric of the Riddermark
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If you let me know what times/periods/cultures interest you (and your friends), I may be able to help. I know good places to look and people to tap to find out about the reenactment scene in a given location. []

So what interests you?

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Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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Well, there are actually only two periods that we could do. The Roman Era, or Medieval England. I am currently trying to get the England one started because all of my friends and I have British Longbows.
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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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Good for you!

Go kill some frenchmen!

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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My next question for you is "What are your goals for a reenactment experience?" By that I mean, do you want to just go and have fun with your buddies? Do you want to emphasize accuracy and fidelity in recreating the past? Take a more relaxed approach? Do you want to educate others or just do it for your own enjoyment?

Also, a longbow doesn't necessarily nail you down to a specific time or place in England. One of the more plausible prevailing theories on the "British," "English," or "Welsh" style of longbow is that it was actually introduced to England by the Scandinavians (primarily Danes and Norwegians) during the Early Middle Ages. [] So you could do Anglo-Saxons, "vikings" of one sort or another, etc.

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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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I've started making a byrnie shirt, and it's a lot easier than it looks. For this first prototype, I am using aluminium 16 gauge rings, but later I'll make a proper one using steel.
This one is just to try it out, and I'm also planning to use it for my little films. I doubt people will be able to tell it apart from one made from another metal at a distance, but I would never have used it in reenactment since it is just aluminium.
My biggest concern is how to make the arms and the hole for the head etc.; right now I'm just adding on rings to the rectangle I've made. I wonder just how unaligned it will become in the end! []
I'll see if I can't post a picture when I've come a bit further, I've only done this for two days.

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Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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If you ever do get any pictures of anything up let me know, It sounds pretty cool.
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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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Jorekr of the riddarmarkr, correct me if I'm wrong, but a norseman ca. 1100 would not have had more advanced armour than a typical conical nasal helm, byrnie and/or leather protection, and of course a shield?
There seems to be a "dead" period as far as armour development is concerned from (very) ca. 900s - 1150s in the north. It's not until the crusades they pick up the pace, but that's not directly relevant to the norse. []

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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I think you're right.

Of course, I don't think anybody in most of Europe was wearing anything more than maille and conical helmets into battle c1100 AD. In that regard, the Norseman would not be any different than, say, a Frank or Norman or Englishman.

I'd have to check, but I do believe that you start to see more extensive maille protection beginning around that time. By that I mean maille leggings, longer sleeves, etc., and (of course) a hauberk was being worn by that time (which covered more area than what many people call a byrnie).

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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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Odd how time stood still, but then again, there were some small changes, like the size of the protective gear, as you said. The growing popularity of the kite shield pretty much also fits that category.
But when we look to the Byzantines, and even earlier Germanic armour, there appears to have been shirts of metal scales (lamellar armour I think it's called); I wonder if it could have been used in northern Europe around the 9th - 12th centuries?
So much corrosion, so little time... if only metal had been preserved better, and in larger quantities. []

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Well, I believe they unearthed some lamellar armour fragments at Birka, but there are questions about how the stuff got to Sweden and who might have actually owned the stuff (i.e. it could have belonged to a visiting merchant, noble, or warrior, or a foreigner's bodyguard).
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Master of Fate
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Ah, nice a reenactment post. I used to do reenactment, and still have a closet full of clothes, but as my studies have started taking up increasing amount of time and having no gruop where I currently live, it has died down.

For those of you wanting suggestions, I have some, remember that I am not an expert so these are only my feelings, and might well be wrong.

Firstly, from the pictures in the link to Westmearc, it looked like a nice piece of kit, but there are some ways I believe you could improve: Gambeson under the chainmail. It looks like you have only woolen clothing (tunic) under your armour. After much debating, at least in the society I was active (Kongshirden 1308 av Akershus www.kongshirden1308.no for any of you who might be interested) the conclusion was that wearing chainmail without gambeson is not something anyone would do. Firstly, getting hit with just a tunic under the chainmail HURTS. Believe me, I've tried. Secondly, gambesons are relative cheap to manufacture (back in the times when labour costs werent really the main consideration, mind you, I still have only a half-finished gambeson myself *sigh) so anyone could afford it, at least anyone rich enough to afford chainmail. Thirdly, a gambeson vastly improves the effectiveness of chainmail armour, as demonstrated by some of the cutting demos we did (see pictures of them on the Kongshirden page). So I recommend getting/making a gambeson.

Secondly: Gloves. If you intend to do any fighting, gloves are a must (and among the first pieces of protective gear you should make). Unfortunately, contemporary sources seem to indicate little protective handwear (as crazy as that seems, fingers are definately vulnerable as heck) which might be simply artistic license of the ones making the illustrations. Furthermore, it is a pain to make the kinds actually shown (either gambeson-like mitts with or without chainmail coating or the later steel half-gauntlets) so many opt to go for the not so authentic leather coated mitts stuffed with something (wool, cotton, dead cats, whatnot).

As an aside note on chainmail, while the kind you make on your own (I assume this to be butted rings, not riveted, if your making riveted on your own, more power to you) certainly looks nice, it is neither authentic nor lasts wery long without constant maintenace if you use it for combat (rings go flying all over the place relatively fast). In fact, to my knowledge, no chainmail has been found that hasnt been riveted.

Ah heck, all this talk gives me the urge to get sewing again...too bad I gotta study for exams.

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Greetings, Master of Fate. [] Always good to meet a fellow reenactor (even one in hibernation). As to your points...

First, the gambeson debate is one that will rage on forever. For Regia's time period, there is no proof of their use in the British Isles or Scandinavia. It definitely makes sense to wear one with maille, and I have had enough combat experience with and without a gambeson over the past 11+ years to testify of their benefits. (And yes, I have had those groovy-looking bruises as a result of going without from time to time.) But as I said, there is no proof provided by illustration, manuscript, or even language to indicate the use of a gambeson by Scandinavians or the Anglo-Saxons, so most of us are doing without for now.

Second, I do fight in gloves. [] Others in the group choose not to, and there's no requirement either way. There is historical provenance for the use of gloves for our focus, and I like my fingers to be straight and pretty, which is why I wear them.

As to the side note, I know about the inaccuracy of butted maille. Examples of butted maille have been found, though it's rare enough that I would have to dig to find them for you, but even then none of the rare examples are medieval European. Two local members do have riveted maille, and two more have riveted shirts on order (including yours truly). I have to disagree about the sturdiness of butted maille, though. I made my butted shirt about 10 years ago, and it has held up wonderfully. []

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Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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Hello Everyone, been awhile since I posted here. Anyways, I am re-enactying the Invasion of Normandy on july 15-17. It's strictly paiontball and paint mines/ paint grenades. They have tanks that shoot huge paint "bombs" and everything I'll be sure to post pictures when I get back.
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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Thought I'd *bump* this and see if any reenactors are still reading.

I've added a few items to my reenactment kit lately, including a nice longbow, a riveted mail shirt, and a new sword that should be finished any day now. My next big investment has been a long time coming--a medieval tent. I hope to get it sometime before a campout we have planned in July. []

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