Combat Archer

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zauberdachs
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Combat Archer

Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:57 pm

So, after reading up on Archers recently and hearing folk discuss the lack of combat archers (and thinking about what I can and can't afford to do) I was thinking of getting the kit together to be a combat archer for the WOTR period.

Now I have all the soft kit and all the basic kit for common as muck infantry, but what specifically what would folk recommend I need to be an archer and where would you recommend getting starting kit from that is suitable for re-enactment?

I'm thinking I need:

A bow (30lb for use of the re-enactment field) or bow blank of that strength.
bow string
Arrows (with those rubber blunts)
Arrow bag
archers bracer for me left forearm

Plus, of course, I've researched local archery clubs/place in the woods so I can get some practice. ;)

I've got from my kit already:

Jack
kettle hat
bevor
sword and buckler

Which I think should do me nicely for the combat bit for now.


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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:08 pm

I'd recommend an archer's sallet (i.e. visorless) rather than a kettle helm for shooting in. You won't be able to wear a bevor while you shoot, either.

Also, you'll need to join a group. One of our number is starting up a WOTR combat archery group, a chap called Sam Wilson. I can put you in contact if you like, the group is called the Hellequin of St Sebastian.

AFAIK blunts are provided by the show organizers for the duration of the battle for safety reasons, but this might vary from show to show. You may also want an archer's glove (not sure what the technical term is) to protect your fingers.

Finally, I'd recommend getting some sharp arrows for target practice or competing in events like the one at Tewkesbury.
Last edited by Jim on Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:14 pm

Jim wrote:I'd recommend an archer's sallet (i.e. visorless) rather than a kettle helm for shooting in.

Also, you'll need to join a group. One of our number is starting up a WOTR combat archery group, a chap called Sam Wilson. I can put you in contact if you like, the group is called the Hellequin of St Sebastian.

AFAIK blunts are provided by the show organizers for the duration of the battle for safety reasons, but this might vary from show to show. You may also want an archer's glove (not sure what the technical term is) to protect your fingers.


Cool, yes a sallet is definitely worth thinking about.

Aren't the archer blocks at events like Tewkesbury made up of a mix of archers from different groups?


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Postby gregory23b » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:17 pm

Second Jim's comment re kettle hat, despite the martydom of St Ursula showing an archer using one, the rims do present an obstacle to ear drawing.

You might find the bevor more hassle when shooting as your head is parallel to the width of the body.

Check your group's arrow shaft thickness, some have a maximum diameter.

I can recommend Steve Relphs for a 30lb self bow, ash, he is amongst others a good provider of bows.

Yo may or may not need a bracer depending on yoru shooting style, some people liek me have odd elbow joints so I have to crook my arm more and the string misses it, but they are good for keeping your sleeves pushed down though.

Depending on your finger tougness you might need a tab or glove, there is some speculation re tabs and the possibility of what looks like one in a find somewhere, they have the advantage of being really unobtrusive, bad shooting gloves are not.

Oh yes, drills. Join your group who can train you in the noble art of stick flinging, the only way to go.


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Postby gregory23b » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:19 pm

Tewks is not a benchmark for WOTR reenactment, it is a medieval fun fight with a mixed bag of kit, some good, some ok some abysmal, best check out min standards for the WOTR umbrella groups.

There is a certain look for WOTR period, hose doublet etc, and the armour as well, notably sallets in this case.


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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:23 pm

Someone will doubtless correct me if I'm wrong, but the impression I have is that you can only go on the field if you are a member of an invited group, or are a guest of such a group.

Also, the vast majority of archery groups do not engage in combat, generally because the archers therein just do not want to, or sometimes cannot, for various reasons, get involved in combat.

The Hellequin of St Sebastian was created specifically to cater for people who want to do Archery and then get stuck into hand-to-hand.

A final word on insurance - most reenactor insurance, AFAIK, excludes archery cover, so only archery groups have the necessary cover to use bows on the field.

So yeah I would definitely recommend joining an archery group, more specifically a combat-inclusive one like Sam's. They can give you all the advice you need and probably provide training as well.

Incidentally, I seem to recall archers can wear a breastplate?


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Postby Allan Harley » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:36 pm

Depending on the level of archer you are portraying - you can wear anything including leg and arm harness, brigandine and plackart etc...

For all events whether Tewkesbury, L&M, MSS or FED you need to belong to a group. Individuals are not encouraged.

There are never enough archers. Any group serious over the 15th century will have insurance for archers -

Whatever you decide enjoy!


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:42 pm

Guys, you know I'm new to archery not to re-enactment right? ;)

Allan Harley wrote:Depending on the level of archer you are portraying - you can wear anything including leg and arm harness, brigandine and plackart etc...

For all events whether Tewkesbury, L&M, MSS or FED you need to belong to a group. Individuals are not encouraged.



cool, should allow for later expansion.

I'm already with a group that is invited to most events so insurance etc shouldn't be a problem. We have several archers involved but they are not regular members and I wanted to get the kit together before the season started. Also it's good to get advice from all quarters :)
Last edited by zauberdachs on Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:49 pm

zauberdachs wrote:I'm already with a group that is invited to most events :)


What, one that does combat archery? Or are you planning on becoming an impromptu "guest" of whatever combat archery group happens to be on the field at the time? Not sure that'd work too well...

Why wouldn't you want to join a proper combat archery group, if that's where your interest lies? You don't have to leave your current group...


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:52 pm

Jim wrote:
zauberdachs wrote:I'm already with a group that is invited to most events :)


What, one that does combat archery? Or are you planning on becoming an impromptu "guest" of whatever combat archery group happens to be on the field at the time? Not sure that'd work too well...


I think that is how it works to a certain extent at the moment... unless I'm completely wrong.

Jim wrote:Why wouldn't you want to join a proper combat archery group, if that's where your interest lies? You don't have to leave your current group...


:)

The group does sound interesting. However if I don't have to spend more money and time on another group I'd prefer that. Still, I will certainly investigate it.


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Postby Dave B » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:53 pm

Jim,

I think my granny needs some egg-sucking advice if you aren't busy.

In my experience most events will have archery captains (one, or one perside) that will take on archers from any of the invited groups, provided they know what they are doing.

You don't have to be in a specific archery group as a rule.


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Postby matlot » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:53 pm

if you are up north get in tuch with the saviles they are majoritaly wotr archers


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Postby Tod » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:05 pm

Maybe I can help here as I was only speaking about this to type 16 the other day.

I decided to become an archer in muddy evil period rather than bilman etc.

To date my kit (based on a lot of help from the good dudes on here and lots of books), and where I got it.

Ankle boots, made them myself.
Joined hose - Cloaked and Daggered
Knee armour - Dave B
Gabison (padded jacket) Tuppance
Singlet and Doublet - Cloaked and Daggered
Shirt - Wina MacPod
Bow and arrows (blunts) - A Piece of History
Buckler - my mate Rob T
Dagger (blunt) Lancasters Armoury
Swort sword Lancasters Armoury and Armour Class
Water bottle - made that myself
B****ck bag and belt - made that myself
Sallet - first 2 off the net, latest one from 2J's
Coat - another mate - Hugh R
Bracer - made myself.
Archers glove - made myself.
Socks/hose - Sally Pointer
Buckles for leatherwork - White Rose

I wanted to be a combat archer but have found that some of the people in full harness have no idea how to pull blows, watching some groups last year didn't inspire me, and as a couple of people said they wouldn't fight me because I wasn't wearing armour, fair enough at least they told me.

So I thought about doing some archer on archer training. At least one of my group is interested. I'm not the worlds best swordsman but in C17/C18 terms I'm good enough to train others.

Any other archers out there fancy having a go? Maybe at Boot Camp or Boddy what ever? Has any one ever set standards for non armoured fighters?
Last edited by Tod on Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:08 pm

Dave B wrote:Jim,

I think my granny needs some egg-sucking advice if you aren't busy.

In my experience most events will have archery captains (one, or one perside) that will take on archers from any of the invited groups, provided they know what they are doing.

You don't have to be in a specific archery group as a rule.


Thanks for clearing that up in your usual friendly way.


The main reason I'm recommending joining a combat archery group is because 90% of the time the archers on the field don't fight. If you were in a combat archery group, your group would peel away from the main body of archers to get stuck in, later in the battle. Such a group is likely to have certain criteria (in our case a bend and certain types of kit) that youare far more likely to satisfy if you're a member rather than an impromptu guest.


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:10 pm

Tod wrote:Maybe I can help here as I was only speaking about this to type 16 the other day.

Any other archers out there fancy having a go? Maybve at Boot Camp or Boddy what ever? Has any one ever set standards for non armoured fighters?


Cool, thanks. Does "a piece of history" have a website? I can only find one for a gent who sells guns?

On the other topic, I've been doing unarmoured (i.e. with only a jack) for many years now and would happily discuss dealing with clankies ;) Perhaps this could be a new thread?


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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:17 pm

Well I'm aiming (hehe) to get some archery training in at the boot camp, so I'll probably try out my combat archery kit there to see how it works, perhaps we could arrange a skirmish in that kit as well, who knows. I'm sure a plan can be hatched in the beer tent on Friday night. :twisted:


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:18 pm

Jim wrote:The main reason I'm recommending joining a combat archery group is because 90% of the time the archers on the field don't fight. If you were in a combat archery group, your group would peel away from the main body of archers to get stuck in, later in the battle. Such a group is likely to have certain criteria (in our case a bend and certain types of kit) that youare far more likely to satisfy if you're a member rather than an impromptu guest.


It's good advice Jim and I'm seriously going to look into it. No need to hard sell though ;)


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Postby Tod » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:19 pm

zauberdachs wrote:
Tod wrote:Maybe I can help here as I was only speaking about this to type 16 the other day.

Any other archers out there fancy having a go? Maybve at Boot Camp or Boddy what ever? Has any one ever set standards for non armoured fighters?


Cool, thanks. Does "a piece of history" have a website? I can only find one for a gent who sells guns?

On the other topic, I've been doing unarmoured (i.e. with only a jack) for many years now and would happily discuss dealing with clankies ;) Perhaps this could be a new thread?


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Postby Jim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:20 pm

zauberdachs wrote:It's good advice Jim and I'm seriously going to look into it. No need to hard sell though ;)


Heh it's ok mate, just felt the need to repeat myself for Dave B's benefit as I didn't think he'd read my postings properly :wink:


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Postby The Methley Archer » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:43 pm

Zauberdachs,

I currently shoot and fight using Helmet, Jack, sword and buckler. All you need is a bow and some blunts, marked in the most obvious way you can think of so you can get them back at the end of the event as the only event I have been at that supply arrows is Tewksbury. Sharps to practice with is grand but given that blunts should be 'flue flue'(big fcuk of fletching) they are slower in the air than normal arrows and have different flight characteristics. I'm good with my sharps but need practice with blunts as this is normally akin to a clout shoot and 400 metre areas of open space are not that readily available in Leeds (200m range + 200m saftey area).

I am generally only one of a handfull of combatant archers that grace Fed and L&M events You shoot for a bit, retrive and skirmish with opposition retrievers, then foget your bow, then join the edge of a bill block that will have you. In that respect I'm blessed that the Clarences put up with me.


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Postby zauberdachs » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:56 am

What poundage of bow is suitable for re-enactments? I know there is a general maximum, can anyone advise what it is?


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Postby guthrie » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:04 pm

40lb, some prefer 35lb.

As for skirmishes and fighting tinnies, the best way to do it is gang up on them in a swarm. That gives them no room to manouvre, and one of you can trap his poleaxe or sword whilst the other stabs him.



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Postby zauberdachs » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:16 pm

guthrie wrote:40lb, some prefer 35lb.


grand, that's what I thought.


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Postby Jim » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:17 pm

Poundage can depend on your strength, stature, arm length etc etc but as mentioned above, something like 30-40 lbs would be about right. Any less and you'll fall short, any more and you'll be shooting off the end of the field at full draw, I'd have thought.

I think mine's a 30 but I'm only 5'8" tall and have skinny stumps for arms.


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Postby zauberdachs » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:20 pm

Jim wrote:Poundage can depend on your strength, stature, arm length etc etc but as mentioned above, something like 30-40 lbs would be about right. Any less and you'll fall short, any more and you'll be shooting off the end of the field at full draw, I'd have thought.

I think mine's a 30 but I'm only 5'8" tall and have skinny stumps for arms.


Standard for men should be around about 50lb apparently but re-enactment events usually set a low standard for safety. This is what I was after. Thanks though.


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Postby Simon_Diment » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Jim there is a difference between an archer who also fights and a combat archer; combat archery is completely different from volleys of lob shots.

Max poundage we allow is 35lb for combat purposes, no limit otherwise if it's just for target shooting.

A persons stature has very little to do with the poundage; it's mostly technique and practice. I'm only 5ft 4in and of slight build but I draw 90lb from my Assyrian bow as I have a long drawlength and a powerful bow to begin with. Work up to the poundage you're aiming for and make sure the bow is matched to you and your requirements.


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Postby Jim » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:09 pm

Simon_Diment wrote:Jim there is a difference between an archer who also fights and a combat archer; combat archery is completely different from volleys of lob shots.


That's interesting, can you expand on that please?

A persons stature has very little to do with the poundage


I meant "frame" rather than "stature" to be honest

it's mostly technique and practice. I'm only 5ft 4in and of slight build but I draw 90lb from my Assyrian bow as I have a long drawlength and a powerful bow to begin with. Work up to the poundage you're aiming for and make sure the bow is matched to you and your requirements.


Yup that makes sense - although pretty much anyone should be able to draw enough poundage for archery on the battlefield, target archery off the field with sharps seems to be a case of pulling as much poundage as you can comfortably and safely do.


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Postby Simon_Diment » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:15 pm

Jim Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:09 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simon_Diment wrote:
Jim there is a difference between an archer who also fights and a combat archer; combat archery is completely different from volleys of lob shots.


That's interesting, can you expand on that please?



Damn I meant to say that they are not necessarly the same thing but yes I will explein further later, lunchtime is now over for me.


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Postby Fox » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:56 pm

zauberdachs wrote:Standard for men should be around about 50lb apparently but re-enactment events usually set a low standard for safety. This is what I was after. Thanks though.


50lbs is also fine for re-enactments too; there are many in use.
I'd chose whatever poundage you are comfortable drawing.



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Postby zauberdachs » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:59 pm

Fox wrote:
zauberdachs wrote:Standard for men should be around about 50lb apparently but re-enactment events usually set a low standard for safety. This is what I was after. Thanks though.


50lbs is also fine for re-enactments too; there are many in use.
I'd chose whatever poundage you are comfortable drawing.


really? Cool. What requirements do you set for archers at Tatton out of interest?


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