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WoW Science Faire is here again!

Come one come all to a good ol’ fashion’ Science Faire at War of the Wings!
science_faire_flyer_2016

Dont get too serious friends, this is supposed to be fun! Can you show a process that was discovered in period? Show an invention of some kind that was in period? How dyes were made, pressed wine? It is all science and technology!

This is supposed to be a lighthearted look at invention or technological advances. Think about a mundane science fair, this can be simple and fun. What you may consider pedestrian may be eye-opening. Can you display or otherwise show the process?

This will be a judged competition. Criteria subject to change. But there may be points for ‘Wowwing’ the crowd! Reserve Saturday for dropping off/setting up your entry. Drop off and pickup times TBD.

Please bring your wonderful ideas, contraptions, and inventive genius. Show the rest of the known world what the world had to offer in period! Even if you do not compete we invite you to bring anything you wish to share.

Go to the information page for more info, and SIGN UP! http://bit.ly/WoWScienceFaire

If you have any questions please contact me!

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Note: You do not have to compete to share! If you simply wish to share, make sure you add that to your description or as a note!

Informal Polling Results

Friends at the time of writing, below are the results of the informal polling.

I think it is safe to say that there is consensus on sharing participation. There is certainly room for discussion here.

What is next?

As it stands now we have a way to enter participants. Either by adding them to an active scoring shoot (eg: IKAC) with a ‘score’ of zero, or by creating a separate ‘shoot’ that only exists for tracking participation.

What would this require?

We as a community, and those who are in positions to ask for action via policy (eg: Kingdom Head Marshals. DEMs, etc) to make it part of the official workflow.

The staff going off on their own could work, we could do this solo without support. This would (IMO) fail on two fronts. If it isn’t a ‘requirement’ not all would do it. Secondly, we should actively seek the support of our Majesties, Kingdom Marshals, and staff. Not only does this draw attention to the issue, but inclusion and conversation is always a better way to get ‘buy-in’.

Why is it important?

As I mentioned in an open letter,  it not only helps the cause of the Valiance Proposal (Omnibus Peerage), but can also help Autocrats and staff in making provisions for martial activities. Additionally the reporting on its most basic level can far more accurately reflect our numbers to the B.o.D.

Clearly, I am NOT the decision maker. My goal here is to spark conversation. We as a community go through waves, and if possible Id love to see the winds of change turn these waves into tsunamis. We cannot be complacent, and never accept ‘no’ as an option.

If we can be a force to not be ignored, we will achieve our goals of ‘everyone in the Society being afforded a path to recognition for what they are passionate about, and a master of’.


 

Results

Are scored shoots activities recorded across all martial disciplines?

some but not all (48%, 27 Votes)
yes (23%, 13 Votes)
no (13%, 7 Votes)
yes, but not a rule (11%, 6 Votes)
depends on the marshal (4%, 2 Votes)
no, we had not thought of this before (2%, 1 Votes)
no, we aren’t interested (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 56

Which disciplines do you currently track participation in?

archery (88%, 56 Votes)
thrown weapons (mixed) (61%, 39 Votes)
combat archery (23%, 15 Votes)
atl atl (13%, 8 Votes)
equestrian (mixed) (11%, 7 Votes)
siege (9%, 6 Votes)
darts (mixed) (6%, 4 Votes)
none of the above (2%, 1 Votes)
don’t know (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 64

Are participation numbers shared or made available publicly?

yes (36%, 20 Votes)
yes, as part of our reporting the numbers are automatically shared (22%, 12 Votes)
no, we share numbers if asked (16%, 9 Votes)
don’t know (15%, 8 Votes)
no (7%, 4 Votes)
no, we have no direct way to do it (4%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 55

If participation numbers are shared publicly, how?

Kingdom web site (44%, 21 Votes)
Facebook (40%, 19 Votes)
personal web sites (current marshal site etc.) (25%, 12 Votes)
Baronial/Shire/etc web site (23%, 11 Votes)
none of the above (19%, 9 Votes)
e-mail lists (10%, 5 Votes)
other social media (8%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 48

Does your Kingdom have individual scoring sites for recording scores?

yes, we use scores.sca.org (44%, 23 Votes)
yes, but we only add scores for specific (scoring) shoots (17%, 9 Votes)
no (other reason) (15%, 8 Votes)
yes, we made our own (10%, 5 Votes)
don’t know (8%, 4 Votes)
yes, we use several (6%, 3 Votes)
no, we have no appreciable martial activities to track (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 52

Would you be willing to share your participation numbers?

yes, even if it adds an additional step (46%, 24 Votes)
no, not sure how to effectively accomplish this (15%, 8 Votes)
as a participant, I’d love to see the number (15%, 8 Votes)
yes, but as part of a year end accounting etc. only (12%, 6 Votes)
yes, as long as there is no additional work (10%, 5 Votes)
no, do not see the merit (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 52

regarding participation, do you currently use a sign in sheet for martial activities?

yes, all of them, all the time (40%, 21 Votes)
yes, but only some (32%, 17 Votes)
no, we only record scoring activities (19%, 10 Votes)
yes, but different systems capture different disciplines (9%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 53

Do you support sharing participation numbers inter-Kingdom?

yes (96%, 50 Votes)
no (4%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 52

Move Along Lil’ Doggie – Switching Teams and Siege Tactics

Friends recently I participated in a siege battle at Pennsic 47 and thought Id share a few observations

Anyone Home?: We were a few people short of fielding up to three engines. Luckily we were able to shuffle some people around, myself included, to get them fielded. The scenario dictated: once an engine was destroyed, or couldn’t be operated (too few engineers) that the engineers cannot move. Well then, OK! But if we are to keep and engine running, a ballista for instance would best be served by having 4 engineers so if one died, there is a replacement. Some people only want to fight with their unit. That’s OK as well, but if you’re open to moving, and you have more than enough people, consider moving to a new home for a bit. The greater glory and honor will be served in keeping your team alive as opposed to just your squad.

fig. 3,4Targets of Choice: In some cases, being smart about targeting helps. A larger hit zone, proximity, obstructions. But I want to talk specifically about unceremoniously ganging up on people. Referring to fig. 3,4 we can see the concept of ganging up on one or two targets. Thereby increasing the hit chance. This can take targets out more quickly and reduce the return fire. This combined with position, can be brutally effective.

fig.1,2Field Position: “Nobody move! Maybe they wont see us!”… and so it was. Not one engine moved. It seems to me that if there is one line facing another line, moving engines to increase the distance from opponents, while maintaining good distance to others whom your teammates are targeting is a good thing. Moving out of their range? Even better! Referring to fig. 3,4 we can see the concept. Move your engines if possible. During set up, engines that can’t move put them in a safer position. In this case we had an elevation advantage. If we had moved engines to the top of the hill, they’d have to shoot uphill effectively reducing their range. Then combine this with fire concentration… again, brutal.

Rules: There are rules, then there are scenario restrictions. This can be in the form of increased safety zones, etc. Now scenario or Kingdom rules can augment, but not replace, or reduce Society law (eg: reduce safety ranges). But important things to note are thing like, if a ballista bolt is moving, am I dead? According to Society rules, once a bolt touches the ground then hits you, you are not dead (section VI). This happened to my team.

Swords to Plowshares: It has happened before where as a combat archer, I have put my bow aside and stepped on to a siege team to keep the engine running. And vice versa. Being aware of your surroundings and communicating need can sway a battle BIG time.

Wrapping up: Not trying to write a novel, just a few observations from the field, and I hope it helps!


 

References: https://www.sca.org/officers/marshal/docs/siege/siege_engines_handbook.pdf


Post Pennsic Valiance Meeting Wrap Up

In Attendance: Edward of thorn, Baron Edward harbinger, Maria donald, Mistress arwenna of kelzey, Glynnis gwynneth, Fergus, and Cameron de Grey

More wanted to come, but could not because of conflicts. We can, and should be organizing these meetings when and where we can. The more people we can get discussing the issues, and successes, the better informed we all are. This allows us to shape a more consistent message and narrative. Now on to the meeting notes in the order they were taken, with additional clarification and context.


It was brought to the groups attention there may be another group with a separate proposal similar to the Valiance. Is there another Peerage order?

We discussed various ways that we can get people together. Both in spirit and real terms. There may be a need to get varying disciplines to communicate better as well as work together. What forms this would take were not discussed necessarily but a few ideas were floated. Such as getting thrown weapons and target archery as close to each other as possible so a participant can do both easily.

Promotion of various disciplines: Darts, Atl atl, combat targets. There are some locales that are restricted in their options. This may be an opportunity for the populace to step up, or request their specific head marshal consider specific activities if not already covered locally/Kingdom-wide.

There are period example of knights who were archers. This was brought up as a rebuttal to an assumed argument that people who engage in certain activities may not possess PLQs re martial form.

Relegated to the back seat. Re archery. It is up to us to ensure that events and activities are happening (related). We can work to bring missile weapons closer to the fore. Depending on the event, this would bring greater visibility. We can work with staff and autocrats to ensure the ‘thing’ happens at all. I have personally reached out to MiCs to ask and ensure Combat Archery could happen. There was space, it simply wasn’t considered.

Laurel for different arts as peerage for martial skills – It was re-iterated here that the Valiance proposal can, and most closely resembles the Laurel. In that it covers all disciplines. One not need be a master of all. PLQs and mastery of one, as empirically referenced in the Laurelate, can be enough depending.

What can we do to get visibility – More discussion on what we can to to increase visibility.

  • Go out be visible – carry your martial forms with you eg: axes
  • Be amazing – regardless of whether the peerage exists. we as a community can bring greater honor to the whole by doing our best to be visible, teach, assist, organize. Energy expended is honor returned.

Documentation of numbers – broken down below

  •   Record practices, numbers – This discussion has been started here, and a poll regarding same is here.
  • Record growth – keep track of how a martial form has grown. tracking participation YoY
  • Sign in at events – one form of tracking can be sign in at events. another more structured form is authorizations in Kingdom
  • scoring system – use the scoring site to enter and track all participants regardless of scoring intent. A score of zero would be entered so they wont necessarily show up, but their participation will be recorded

Start local and work up. Go to baronial meetings. This means show up at your local meeting. Discuss your martial area and others. Ensure that positive discussions are being had and promoted. Is there a budget for equipment? Need for an A&S night to help produce materials? Branding? Heraldry?

Valiance sponsored – we are a loose group of supporters, but we can sponsor events under the Valiance ‘brand’. Use our martial skills to promote the proposal!

omnibus_5.1Universal branding – consistency in branding of the proposal. Many people recognize the symbology. There are variations. The overall design variations however should be minor enough to convey they are all the same idea.

Register the symbols so others can transfer – We can get the populace to register potential symbols of the proposal and then transfer them to the S.C.A. when the Order is created.

Each meeting do a mail in – Every single meeting the BoD has, campaign them. Remind them we are here. We are not going away. The Order  has too long been easily dismissed.

Waivers at practices? – Not sure what was referenced here and hopefully the person who brought this up can clarify

Separate martial forms in mol signup – Some Kingdoms apparently lump in siege and CA with Rattan. There is information being lost  here in that we can’t discreetly track participation for specific disciplines.

Active yearly participation versus active per event – It is useful, whatever potentially agreed upon method for tacking participation, that we have a way to separate the idea of unique engagement with a martial skill versus repeated. eg: I am an archer, but I may attend many archery events in a year.

Change the reporting to account for numbers – in the theme of tracking participation, some Kingdoms, Baronies, etc do not track participation per event or practice. We can start recording these numbers and bubbling them up. This however requires longer conversations with our leadership: specific head marshal and Kingdom Marshals.

Hard numbers – Using a system to glean hard numbers. Such as the proposed idea of entering all participants into the scoring site regardless of whether it was a scoring shoot. This would not preclude a group from scoring several events in a single day. If the sign in sheets where created with the competitions, and various martial forms, in mind then all can be accommodates cleanly and easily.

Tournaments IKCAC, Missile Weapon Community – Promote more tournaments. Get higher ranking participation such as Baronage, and Royalty when possible. Competitions such as the IKCAC and Missile Weapon Tourney can be promoted and included in many events, safely and easily.

Award recommendations for their field – Lets make sure we are recommending those worthy for awards specifically for the martial field(s)


text in italics were the original notes taken from the meeting

Informal Poll – Participation in Martial Activities

Hello friends, In the interest of gauging participation in martial activity Society wide, focusing on non-rattan and non-rapier activities. I created a small poll with eight short questions. This should take no longer than 3 minutes. I thank you in advance for your participation!

Are scored shoots activities recorded across all martial disciplines?

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Which disciplines do you currently track participation in?

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Are participation numbers shared or made available publicly?

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If participation numbers are shared publicly, how?

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Does your Kingdom have individual scoring sites for recording scores?

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Would you be willing to share your participation numbers?

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regarding participation, do you currently use a sign in sheet for martial activities?

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Do you support sharing participation numbers inter-Kingdom?

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This is an informal poll. It is not directed, or endorsed by any official group, entity, or representative of a Kingdom, Barony, or management of the S.C.A. The information will be used to help shape opinion on methods and practice in martial record keeping and further discussion.

Open Letter – Recording Scores in Martial Activites

To Whom It May Concern,

I am Lord Cameron de Grey of Atlantia, with distant roots in An Tir. I write to you now to make a humble request. Following a meeting regarding the Valiance Proposal at Pennsic 47, it came to light that there are some local groups and or Kingdoms that are not recording attendance at martial, and potentially other, activities. I write now in reference to the former. My words are of a concerned individual, and represent no group or body. My words may not be poetic or even complete, with are sincere in spirit, and written while the iron is hot.

What are the potential benefits?

Numbers. Many people show up at practices and events, but we don’t always know how many. If we start tracking and gauging, our marshals can make more informed decisions about creating space for that martial activity. We can track year over year growth or shrinkage. Are people migrating from one martial activity to another? Picking up a second or third? Is there a new activity that needs local group support due to growth?

Autocrats can benefit. We can take numbers to autocrats and make a case as to expected numbers, and space requirements. In some cases there may not be a push to have a particular activity. One can make the case that a budding Barony needs to promote a martial skill because there are a few participants, but could grow if assisted. The more we talk to autocrats and communities, the better we represent our communities, and the staff recognize and respect same.

We can map and gauge activities across the known world. Is there thrown weapons in Lochac? Darts in Artemisia? If not, why not? Are there emissaries in one Kingdom that can reach out and assist another? In this way I hope it will open lines of communications across sympathetic disciplines.

What will it require from marshals and staff?

The basics:

  • Each event or practice will require a sign in sheet.
  • At the end of each practice or event, the ‘scores’ will need to be entered.

If there is a Royal Round, or other kind of competition, of course the scores would need to be entered, but for general participation, the ‘score’ would be zero. It may even require the creation of recording methods. These are not insurmountable issues by any stretch. Yes this creates more ‘paperwork’. I think the amount of work is minimal compared to the benefits, but the final decision of course, is yours. Though I cannot promise the work of others, a solution already exists, and could well be modified to suit.

In closing, the benefits listed above may or may not impact you depending on how you currently track, and the level of participation. What it will do is allow the Society, and martial activities to see across the known world, in one place, who is doing what, and where. I cannot take credit for the idea, but I deeply believe in the benefits. Whatever form this takes, at the end of the year, you will have substantive numbers to reflect on, and share. This is not a solution for promoting specific martial activities, but by tracking, we can make informed decisions, and better promote the things we love.

It is my sincere hope this letter starts a conversation, with a productive end. Lets get, and share these numbers!

Update: a short 8 question poll has been added to help shape the scope of the conversation.

YIS respectfully,

Lord Cameron de Grey

Or, on a bend purpure between a wheel of cheese and a squirrel sable, three pheons palewise Or