How to improve battles?

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Alan_F
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Post by Alan_F »

guthrie wrote:Whilst Edwin may have a point about random wandering water carriers at his events, most I have been at (Medieval ones) have had well controlled water carriers hanging about at the back rather than wandering across the field. In fact they usually go and water the fighters at set breaks in the fighting. So I agree with Tonw.

The point about having little groups breaking off and some show fights are fine, I think we discussed them up thread, and they are a good idea.


I've done Medieval, Renaissance and modern re-enactments and I will say that I have never seen random wandering water carriers. The discipline shown by the water carriers is absolutely amazing.

Edwin, instead of trolling, could you at least try to suggest somethign sensible?
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Post by Skevmeister »

Can I just say that as my first battle was at Rougham last year and every one who was their will know exactly hwo hot it was can I just say to all the Non Com water carriers who made it possible for me to stay upright in the bluistering heat.

All battles after that and at tewkesbury to my mind and IMHO hung arouind at the back looked in part and I dont think detract from the battle but add to it as it gives the MOP's an idea how hot and tired everyone actually gets

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Post by craig1459 »

My observation in my short time at this is that WOTR is organisationally very fragmented.

This does have its advantages in that groups can be more flexible and each develops their own character, giving the potential recruit a choice.
However, letting groups grow organically today gives different results to that which would have happened in the day. So my lot - the Saviles - are one of the bigger crews even if our lord at the time was, while not completely off the radar, not of the magnitude of say Richard Neville. So that is a problem with fragmented groups - inauthentic balance on the field both in terms of the troops on display, as well as the mix of type of soldier.

If we had fewer but larger outfits it may allow economies of scale and allow greater focus on marketing and crucially expansion. Furthermore, larger organisations would have greater ability to design and manage the battles to make them more authentic AND entertaining.

Are groups too parochial for it to expand further? Would the re-enactment of the period benefit from having a unified or regional body like the SK rather than a federation?
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Post by guthrie »

Alan, just because youve never seen something doesnt mean it doesn happen, and could you please try and keep arguments on threads separate.

Craig1459- Remember that there used to be just the SK. THen they split. Then remember also that aAFAK, they are run as little local groups, like we are in the fed. So really, they arent that much different. The fed is a start, and personally I dont want much more than that, although there are others pressing for national organisations, rather like we have for the civil war and vikings and suchlike.

So, whilst it might be a good idea to have a more unified national body,its very tricky to do. The fed has nearly split up over internal politicking a couple of times.

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Post by craig1459 »

guthrie wrote:So, whilst it might be a good idea to have a more unified national body,its very tricky to do. The fed has nearly split up over internal politicking a couple of times.


I think that's the same with any past-time - egos and politics. I was a band-geek as a teenager (now I'm just a geek :D ) and the organisations there split, reformed, made up the rules as they went along et et cetera
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Post by Foxe »

Having been involved in a large multi-regiment society, a handful of small independent groups, and three federations made up of independent small groups I have to say that the most successful in terms of combining the ability to put on decent sized skirmishes and the ability to keep the politicking to a minimum the feds have been the best. Once you step over the line of the idel amount of cross group co-operation (the line IHMO is about where each group has complete autonomy over internal affairs, and the fed's authority goes no further than the event field) the groups start to fall apart.
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Post by gregory23b »

Tricky one about size, in a way WOTR reenactment's fragmentary nature is probably a good albeit unintentional reflection of shifting loyalties way back when. It would also seem the the period in particular with its lack of uniformity (uniforms) is attractive for that reason. Ok there is 'drill' which is mostly made up for reasons of safety, but it lacks the rigidity of other periods where armies were more regimented. So with that the nature of the beast is unlikely to change. Whilst it might be a bit irritating it is probably a good thing at least in terms of variety. Consistent fighting models and practices however should over-ride all other considerations, mainly to allow decent bashes with other groups.

But even apparently 'big' societies like ECWS are a series of semi-autonomous regiments under a bigger umbrella, sharing some practices but essentially retaining their own identities, politics and 'fluidity'.

I wonder if some of the science bods could come up with some calculation as to the point at which a WOTR society becomes too big for its own good, probably akin to yeast or something ;-)

The LH side of it is another thing altogether though and probably part of another thread.
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Post by craig1459 »

I was prompted to think about the organisation by chatting to Karen Larsdatter about the SCA.

Most of the events they do are more or less closed to the public, and only open to other members of the SCA (or people who consider themselves "SCAdians,")

They have a regional structure and because groups cover a very large area, the fastest-growing areas have in excess of 100 new members a year. So for them, a lot of the focus needs to be more about new-member retention than on recruitment and getting the word out. That's quite scary.
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Post by Guest »

Strange how on the LH forum thateverything is personalised. One suggests possible improvements to Battle presentations and is accused of being a Troll etc.

Nothing is sacrosant and reenactment battles tend to be boring to look at, these are my starting points. Support for Reenactment will wither if the same old things are presented year after year.

I love Tewkesbury but it is too long and the commentary could be improved, for example. I am grateful to the water carriers there but the sweating red-faced overweight people in armour gasping on the ground are more likely to be unfit and over-indulgent the night before rather than actually suffering from dehydration. To cool them down is a sound idea but the symptoms of actual heat-stroke are different and the real condition is a critical one to be diagnosed and treated by professionals.

Perhaps people should take more responsibility for their own physical condition and exercise some self-control both in their drinking and in their pathetic pursuit of water-carriers.

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Post by DomT »

Group size:-
I find the critical number is around 100.

Strong personalities in the group can make it fragment earlier or later.
A very charasmatic single leader can keep it together for longer but the second a rival surfaces they'll be a split.

Splitting it into smaller sub units can keep it going beyond this but unless the subunits have a good reason sooner or later they'll split off....and they tend to turn into their own little units and the main becomes a Federation.

Other methods includes millitarising the unit to the point where it tries to ignore or exclude non-combatents or limiting democracy or input to selected 'elites'.

I'm sure there's a research paper in there somewhere.
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Post by Borsch Monster »

gregory23b wrote:
I wonder if some of the science bods could come up with some calculation as to the point at which a WOTR society becomes too big for its own good, probably akin to yeast or something ;-)


I recon the maximum is about 70 members before you get "politics". Although back in the day the White Company could manage with one person alone in a room if nessecary.

I don't think democracy really works. When it comes to elect the officers at the AGM one of two things happens. Either all the posts are elected unopposed, making the whole thing a waste of time. Or there's a row followed by bruised egos & a split.

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Post by gregory23b »

I used to think democracies were fine, but not in reenactment well at least in my humble experience, a benign dictatorship is better. Also a clear idea of how big a group you want to be in.

I have now got to take my daughter to gynmastics, the oberfamiliafuhrer has ordered it.
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Post by tonw »

I think the optimum non politics membership of any WotR's group should be around a minimum of 20

anymore and its difficult to keep all members happy

This can be streahced to about 30 or 40

but even anything beyond 25 is generally pushing it.
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Post by Nigel »

agree about dictatorship

last year we culled the paper mebership from 100+ to an acceptable level added 4 active new members and are in better shape because of it

as Jorge will I hope agree we are a prety together lot

as to water carriers there is no way Iam going through a 3 hour hastings without my hint of raspberry crush mineral water

and if Edwin would like to discuss this with Debs Iam sure she would be happy to oblige

we could sell tickets
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Post by Edwin »

Nigel wrote:and if Edwin would like to discuss this with Debs Iam sure she would be happy to oblige

we could sell tickets


Nigel, do you have a thing about violence which I assume is implied by the above remark? There was something about a shovel threat as well on another discussion I think. Perhaps you are so deficient in social and linguistic skills that you can't imagine that grown-ups could actually discuss something sensibly with a view to improving the presentation of re-enactment battles to the Public.

Or maybe you are so smugly satisfied with your own contribution to re-enactment that you can see no room for improvement.

Care for a small bet that the audiences for re-enactment battles will decline if something isn't done to improve their appeal to the public?
In fact does anybody bother with audience satisfaction surveys which are standard in other forms of entertainment?

Edwin

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Post by Nigel »

re Debs it seems to me you ahve alow opinion of water carriers and she would happily educate you re this

Nigel, do you have a thing about violence which I assume is implied by the above remark? No apart from being professionally violent for a couple of years I tend to use a lot of black humour which as you are a librarian you should be able to grasp the definition of the word.

There was something about a shovel threat as well on another discussion I think. Yes another joke you pedantic little dweeb.

Perhaps you are so deficient in social and linguistic skills that you can't imagine that grown-ups could actually discuss something sensibly with a view to improving the presentation of re-enactment battles to the Public.

You are now starting to annoy me . But here goes as most of the doers on this site like matt and Dan will know I constantly strive to improve what I do and how the groups to which i lobelong present themselves. I spend a lot of time working on event presentation etc and a rough calculation tells me I have organised over 100 events in almost 30 years in the hobby.

As for you never heard of you before so dont know your pedigree would you care to enlighten us.

Or maybe you are so smugly satisfied with your own contribution to re-enactment that you can see no room for improvement. Not true as many will tell yoiu.

Care for a small bet that the audiences for re-enactment battles will decline if something isn't done to improve their appeal to the public?
In fact does anybody bother with audience satisfaction surveys which are standard in other forms of entertainment? Yes we did at Middlewhich and they were guess what very happy and had a great day.

Why dont you organise something instead of lurking and sniping.

As to discussion feel free to find me and if not busy with stuff I'll happily discuss event organisation with you

Edwin[/quote]
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Post by m300572 »

Edwin, you arestating to become irritating to a lot of people - there are a lot of individuals who are trying to keep the audience happy, entertained and educated - whether they are idle overweight slobs who deserve (as you seem to imply) to dehydrate or whippet thin fit young beings with the capacity to retain bodily fluids through 4 hours of strenuous activity on a re-enactment field is neither here nor there.

So either come up with some suggestions on how battles can be improved that are likely to be workable or belt up please. I'm handy with a shovel as well - professional requirement although I usually dig people up rather than bury them!!

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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Edwin wrote:
Nigel wrote:and if Edwin would like to discuss this with Debs Iam sure she would be happy to oblige

we could sell tickets


Perhaps you are so deficient in social and linguistic skills that you can't imagine that grown-ups could actually discuss something sensibly

Edwin


Would this be the same social and sensible discussion skills that you so obviously lack Edwin. Judging by the other links you have forced your views upon, whilst failing to respect any answer given, I very much think so.

Isnt it time you wnet to annoy another forum, your job here is done.
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Post by gregory23b »

Yeah Nige, you are alright, I suppose ;-)


Edwin
"Care for a small bet that the audiences for re-enactment battles will decline if something isn't done to improve their appeal to the public? "

You have a point and one that is being discussed all the time, however I do not think the water carriers are affecting it one way or the other. There are greater issues IMHO that over shadow the presence of water carriers.
How battles look in general, flow, story line, commentary, 'realism'. In all honesty removing water carriers wont make dull fights less dull and exciting fights more exciting. The water carrier 'issue' is a red herring and can easily fit most ongoing scenarios.

A related issue is dehydration etc, however that is not simply about having or not having water carriers, how people have gotten dry is important. From bitter experience, and Borch Monster might remember it, I was sent off the field in an ECWS major for having dizzy spells. My problem was that I had drunk two pints in the beer tent prior to the fight, coupled with the residues of the booze from the night before and one of the hottest weekends of that season. The water we had did not avert my situation, but that is about 'player' responsibility not water carriers.

But no one would disagree with you about trying to make WOTR battles that bit more interesting, it is not a point of conflict in general.
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Post by Borsch Monster »

Yeah I expect I was quite horrible to you afterwards for being a prat. Although you were young sweet & innocent then & I've bollocked some who should have known better for the same thing.

The water carrier issue was looked at by ECWS a few years ago, for the same reason as Edwin points out. Loads of women wandering round the field. Not having been to a large C15th event for some years I don't know if it's really a problem for you guys. Women didn't in general go onto battlefields in the C17th, & I suspect the medieval period was the same. The baggage train was usually well behind the fighting.
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Post by gregory23b »

No, you laughed.

Poor old Andy Blaskett was out for the same thing too, plus others from other regiments.

I think it may have been Kirby Hall, yes it was.
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Post by Nigel »

Kirby hall 1988 I beleive now that was hot
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gregory23b wrote:No, you laughed.



I expect it was the joy of seeing your education developing before my eyes. Nothing malicious obviously.

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Post by Foxe »

You're all missing the important point, which as I stated earlier is the lack of boats. Now, if all those troublesome water carriers would just pour their load into a hole in the ground we could use it to float boats on. Now there's a plan. :lol:
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Post by gregory23b »

<memo>

boot the ugly one upon next encounter.

Education open up before his eyes, I did ECWS as a quiet rest from WOTR, you lot only did two hours a day....apart from Bishop's Waltham which was more like it.

right Ugly, I's gonna getcha for that and educate you Mejeeval Style.
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Post by Alan_F »

Edwin wrote:
Nigel wrote:and if Edwin would like to discuss this with Debs Iam sure she would be happy to oblige

we could sell tickets


Nigel, do you have a thing about violence which I assume is implied by the above remark? There was something about a shovel threat as well on another discussion I think. Perhaps you are so deficient in social and linguistic skills that you can't imagine that grown-ups could actually discuss something sensibly with a view to improving the presentation of re-enactment battles to the Public.


Edwin, I have yet to see you showing anyone else here respect, why the hell should anyone show you it?

Or maybe you are so smugly satisfied with your own contribution to re-enactment that you can see no room for improvement.


I've always found Nigel approachable and down-to-earth, never smug. But if he were, he would have good reason to be - his impact on re-enactment has been huge and has helped many others along. Not least is the fact that he shows respect to other societies for the standards they attain - that is something that can be very rare in the world of re-enactment.

Care for a small bet that the audiences for re-enactment battles will decline if something isn't done to improve their appeal to the public?
In fact does anybody bother with audience satisfaction surveys which are standard in other forms of entertainment?


Why do you think I started this thread? However Nigel does care about putting on a good show - to the extent that if someone has better kit than him, he will make sure that they get put in the limelight and not him. That is as rare as hens teeth in re-enactment.

Edwin instead of being prat, why not actually get down from whatever moral highground you believe yourself to be on and join in the conversation. If you can't do that, then b**ger off.
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Post by Edwin »

Foxe wrote:You're all missing the important point, which as I stated earlier is the lack of boats. Now, if all those troublesome water carriers would just pour their load into a hole in the ground we could use it to float boats on. Now there's a plan. :lol:


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Post by Edwin »

Nigel:black humour which as you are a librarian you should be able to grasp the definition of the word.

E: Black humour is two words which one should I know the definition of?

N:There was something about a shovel threat as well on another discussion I think. Yes another joke you pedantic little dweeb.

E:Pedantic and dweeb are similar in meaning so that is tautological. Little is incorrect as I am 6foot and 17 stone (yes I am one of the fat fighters as well)

N:You are now starting to annoy me .

E:This should worry me?

N:As for you never heard of you before so dont know your pedigree would you care to enlighten us.

E: None of your business but have been around re-enactment for about 14ish years, last year did work for Time Team and English Heritage, I lecture on the Dark Ages and have been consulted on ancient boat construction.

N:Or maybe you are so smugly satisfied with your own contribution to re-enactment that you can see no room for improvement. Not true as many will tell yoiu.

E:Pleased to hear it.

N:Care for a small bet that the audiences for re-enactment battles will decline if something isn't done to improve their appeal to the public?
In fact does anybody bother with audience satisfaction surveys which are standard in other forms of entertainment? Yes we did at Middlewhich and they were guess what very happy and had a great day.

E:Good for you.

N:Why dont you organise something instead of lurking and sniping.

E:Lurking is being on a forum but not posting so again you use a word incorrectly.

E: I have noticed other posts on this thread indicating that some things I have said bear thinking about so no universal condemnation then.


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Post by Edwin »

m300572 wrote:Edwin, you arestating to become irritating to a lot of people - there are a lot of individuals who are trying to keep the audience happy, entertained and educated - whether they are idle overweight slobs who deserve (as you seem to imply) to dehydrate or whippet thin fit young beings with the capacity to retain bodily fluids through 4 hours of strenuous activity on a re-enactment field is neither here nor there.

So either come up with some suggestions on how battles can be improved that are likely to be workable or belt up please. I'm handy with a shovel as well - professional requirement although I usually dig people up rather than bury them!!


The point is that audiences don't owe you anything for the effort you put in. They are pure consumers and if the product isn't good enough will go elsewhere. So, if you are putting on what should appear a professional performance than it would be a good idea if the performers were match fit.
Granted there must be compromise in that most of us have other jobs to do but not drinking alcohol before a battle should bve an absolute rule as it is in some societies and why shouldn't prospective warriors do a little exercise beforehand to get reasonably able to stand up for the duration of the battle?

Please free to deconstruct the above and tell me what is in it to irritate a lot of people? Unless re-enactment is unique amongst all current activities in being exempt from critical examination.

Edwin

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