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Get Those Archery Scores In! Royal Rounds, IKAC, and IKCAC

I was inspired today by the words of Excellency Evelynne Merrymet of Black Diamond.

How can we increase participation in the scoring aspect of the game we love?

This touches several areas and instead of responding in an e-mail chain I’d like to share some thoughts if it helps at all…

Availability:

When it comes to scoring shoots, not all practices are built the same. In some cases the practices are small, democratically run, or just not organized. This is not an indictment, rather a reality. Sometimes a practice is simply a group of friends getting together to hang out and fling arrows together. They chat beforehand or generally agree on how it will be run. As someone who runs a `thing`, we should always try to think past ourselves and our friends needs and think about the populace. I may be done shooting Royal Rounds, but it doesn’t mean newcomers are, or seasoned archers for that matter. There are many practices I set up the IKCAC target to have it sit lonely… “I miss being shot on a regular basis,” Syr Rendre du Singe confided to me on a long winter’s night as the wind howled in the lonely pines as vacant as his scoreless soul. You may not even need to set it up physically, but by having it set up, there is no barrier to entry, and it advertises the shoot.

Consistency:

People should know, and it should be advertised that `your` practice includes Royal RoundsIKAC, SSAC, etc… Not everyone may participate, and lord knows I’ve set up IKCAC and Royal Rounds many times they were never scored. But if people know they want to score and they can depend on the availability, they may come. Set up the targets every time. You may not shoot a Royal Round every time, but it will be ready to go when anyone else is. Part of the beauty of using the 60cm FITA targets is that they are easy to put up, and ready for whatever game you may wish to play.

Training:

How can we better lay the groundworks for submitting scores? Perhaps having a sign in at practice. Get people used to the idea of ‘low barrier’ paperwork. Do they have to sign in? This may depend on the Kingdom, but in my case, not a requirement. But it would be nice to know who showed up, especially as it relates to newcomers and Seneschals. Remember that practices can be open and one need not be a SCA member to participate. This can be an opportunity to better get to know someone. Always have scoring sheets and a clipboard available. Plenty of pencils. A quick trip to an Office Depot will have you set up for years. Buy two sets, and entrust a few key people with the forms so no matter what, someone can always be there with score sheets. Practice speed rounds or at various ranges to get people used to the procedures of scoring. This can also be a way to get people to break out of their ‘but I can’t hit a target at 40 yards’ line of thinking.

Fun:

Challenge yourself and others to score with varying equipment. I have been shooting crossbow almost exclusively for a long time (training for combat archery went to laziness ;p), but what about a horse-bow? Longbow? Challenge others to use new equipment and broaden their horizons. Challenge yourself! Use the Royal Rounds score as a measure of comparison between the various equipment options. Advertise, set up, and shoot SSAC targets! These change over time and can offer a sense newness and or competition. Challenge others to shoot a Royal Round even if it isn’t submitted. These scores can be, and are to many, a useful tool in gauging their performance.

There is more Im sure and I am NOT the last word, or the smartest but I hope to start and add to the conversations!

Heed the call of your Warlords!

throwing maces and daggers
throw-y thingies

We all want to have fun on the field. It is vitally important that we listen to ourselves, and gauge properly. This can dictate our level of involvement. Taking this as a given, there are things we can do to be as effective as we can be, regardless of perceived (or real) level of engagement.

A few topics of note…

Your Tactics
After considering what your comfort level is, it is important to gauge the scenario and your place in it. By way of example, bridge battles and open fields are very different beasts, and how you engage can vary. In an open field you are a sitting duck. Pair up with another archer, or find someone with a shield.

Fighting alone can work, but you need to keep your eyes open and be open to change your tactics as the battle progresses. Generally your job is not a front line job, but second or third in line is perfectly acceptable.

Armies Tactics
As combat archers and siege engineers, were are limited by the number of events we can attend and practice at. Go to events where Siege and CA are not happening, and be a spectator or water bear. This affords a great chance to see how the armies communicate, eaves drop or participate in conversations about tactics. watch how squads break up and form.

Looks for groups who practice together and watch their tactics. How do they file up? Who’s in front or back? Which weapons are most effective for the chosen positions? What can you do to fill gaps in a squad that has formed? Why has a squad formed?

A Tuchux squad may have formed to spearhead a rush, that may not be the best use of a CA’s energy.

Commanders and Warlords
Know who your Commanders and Warlords are. Listen to their commands. In war scenarios they are constantly surveying the situation and plans can change. There should always be purpose in commands. In the example of timed scenarios, the timing of these commands are usually crucial. And if the commanders are doing their job, it should make your job easier and more fun.

Show up before the battles start, sit in on the pre-battle huddles so you know what the plans are, and if unclear, ask what your role is!

Effective CAs and Engineers almost always play a vital role in victory. If a commander calls for an archer, take note and be available. If they call for siege at a location, rain devastation on that location.

Go to events that are set up for commander and unit training. In Atlantia we have War Practices that are just for this. Talk to your heavy community and find out when and where.

Communication
Some of the aforementioned depends on communication. In the scenario of a bridge battle, width is a premium. Its legit to say, “archer advancing”, and move up to the second or third line. When approaching a teammate, let them know you are there with an, “Archer on your left shoulder <YOUR NAME HERE> (or person in the blue tunic). If they have shields they can help defend you from incoming pole-arms and arrows. But they can’t if they don’t know you’re there.

The act of being vocal about this can also strike fear in the defenders line. You will see the ‘pucker up’ effect when shields start to crowd and pole-arms step back or aside. Necessarily making them less effective.

Know your commanders and sub-commanders voices, keep an ear open for commands being passed along. Listen to the lines when they say, “Take out the person in red”. Generally this means that opponent is being particularly effective and their removal helps lead our team to success.

This topic of communication deserves a whole article of its own, but is a lesson learned with time, and awareness.

Flexibilty
Cross authorizing in weapons forms can be a very handy thing. For instance if you are authorized in Siege and CA, If you see an engine is down to one engineer, and your team can be effective with siege in the scenario, fall back and assist on the engine. Or vice versa!

Do you have plenty of archers and no cover? Grab a shield and a handful of thrown weapons. You can act as a moving wall for another archer, as well as deflect from the random heavy charging in to club a ‘baby seal’. Authorize in spear or pole-arm. Perhaps a scenario doesn’t allow for CA or siege, that doesn’t mean you need to sit it out, grab a spear and get to work!

In the end the more you put into the job, the more satisfying it will be. Knowing you are effective, needed, and respected goes a long way.

Ahwak – Lyrics

Ahwak

I adore you but I wish that I could forget you
And forget my whole soul along with you
And if it’s lost then, for your sake, its o.k. if you forget me
I think that I forgot you but I find myself only forgetting your harshness towards me
And I long for your torture I find my tears remembering you and then I comeback again to you
In Meeting you, the whole world comes to me along with you
And your own satisfaction becomes the world’s contentment in my eyes
And then my pains and deprivation pales when facing your love
Then I find you busy and making my mind busy thinking about you
my eyes meet your eyes
I see other people talking about you while you pretend as if it’s o.k.
I’m thoughtful towards you, at night I wake up calling you
And I send my spirit to you to wake you
Oh my love who occupies my mind wake up and try feeling the fiery passions that I’m suffering
I adore you but I wish that I could forget you
And forget my whole soul along with you
And if it’s lost then, for your sake, its o.k. if you forget me
I think that I forgot you but I find myself only forgetting your harshness towards me
And I long for your torture I find my tears remembering you and then I comeback again to you


أهواک
أهواک و اتمنى لو انساک
و انسى روحی ویاک
وان ضاعت یبقى فداک لو تنسانی
و انساک و ترینی بانسى جفاک
و اشتاق لعذابی معاک
والقى دموعی فاکراک ارجع تانی
فی لقاک الدنیا تجینی معاک
و رضاها یبقى رضاک
و ساعتها یهون فی هواک طول حرمانی
أهواک
أهواک و اتمنى لو انساک
و انسى روحی ویاک
وان ضاعت یبقى فداک لو تنسانی
و انساک و ترینی بانسى جفاک
و اشتاق لعذابی معاک
والقى دموعی فاکراک ارجع تانی
فی لقاک الدنیا تجینی معاک
و رضاها یبقى رضاک
و ساعتها یهون فی هواک طول حرمانی
والاقیک مشغول وشاغلنی بیک
وعینی تیجی فی عینیک
وکلامهم یبقى علیک وانت تداری
واراعیک واصحى من اللیل انادیک
وابعت روحی تصحیک
قوم یاللی شاغلنی بیک جرب ناری
والاقیک مشغول وشاغلنی بیک
وعینی تیجی فی عینیک
وکلامهم یبقى علیک وانت تداری
واراعیک واصحى من اللیل انادیک
وابعت روحی تصحیک
قوم یاللی شاغلنی بیک جرب ناری
أهواک و اتمنى لو انساک
و انسى روحی ویاک
وان ضاعت یبقى فداک لو تنسانی
و انساک و ترینی بانسى جفاک
و اشتاق لعذابی معاک
والقى دموعی فاکراک ارجع تانی
فی لقاک الدنیا تجینی معاک
و رضاها یبقى رضاک
و ساعتها یهون فی هواک، فی هواک طول حرمانی

Crossing the Lines – Multiple Fighting Disciplines

Onager with Sling

Greetings friends,

When it comes to tactics, you may want to look inward. Not every scenario will have siege, or combat archery. What do you do then  if you are only authorized in one or the other?

Get authorized in multiple disciplines of course! I know several combat archers who fight with some other form of weapon: Spear, Polearm, sword and board. Whatever your poison, you should have a backup plan.

Take an evert that happens in Atlantia like War of the Wings, there are always scenarios with combat archery, less with siege, but always rattan. If you are the kind who wants to stay active as much as possible, get authorized in spear or some other rattan weapon form. If there is a scenario where there are three battles, the first two have CA but the last does not, by being allowed to pick up a hand weapon you can still fight with your team.

What about the siege/CA combo? Siege engines are a real consideration when it comes to events. Not every event can have siege, the ones that can sometimes don’t. So what are the blockers? Perhaps there are not enough engineers? Maybe someone that has an engine doesn’t have enough people? In this case communication is key. By participating in these communities you can let them know you are available in needed. You could be the one to sway the balance.

It may be the case that there are fielded engines, but an engine is left one person short to legally use. If you can safely dispose of your weapon/gear and assist, it can easily sway a battle. Not to mention act as a guard for other approaching enemy combatants.

Take a bridge battle for instance, these are target rich environments. All you as an engineer have to do is get your missile anywhere on the other side of the bridge.

Only fight rattan? Grab some thrown weapons! There may be Missile Weapon Tourneys happening you can participate in!

Whether your goal is not having downtime, or simply being versatile, be all that you can be in the cross-disciplined army.

Being effective on the front lines – Combat Archery

Being a combat archer can be a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

movie_splash
click to view movie in new window/tab

Regardless of your calling on the field, be good at what you do. As a combat archer that means effective. Taking out prime targets. Listening to unit commands. Paying attention to the field.

Effective:

There are various measure of effectiveness. For instance upon “lay on!” being called, lob a volley. It can slow the advance and perhaps break ranks of an untrained unit. I like to fight 2nd or third from the front line depending on the scenario. This allows shields and polearms to do what they have trained to do: work together. If you hang too far back it can be harder to spot and eliminate prime targets.

Prime Targets:

Your job is to pick off fleshy exposed targets like polearms and spears. However you can take a pot shot at a shieldmans face and make them take their eyes off combat. Through communication or luck when they drop their shield to peek, a poleman can poke them or another archer can shoot their face. Siege engines are great sitting ducks as well. Know your engine types, how many minimum it takes to operate, and battle scenarios (resurrection).

Unit Commands:

Listen to your team mates. Let them know you are behind them. They can block incoming shots with shields and otherwise protect you from poles, and spears. In some cases you will hear a command like, “Take out the King!”, do your friends a favor, take the King out! Your team is surveying the opponents strengths, and your job is to help them eliminate the opponents defenses so progress can be made. Participate in pre-battle scrums and know what the overall strategy is. Good commanders use all the tools available of which combat archery is an effective one.

Surveying the Situation:

Sometimes it helps to look at the bigger picture. Survey the area. There may be a spearman in front of you but do you have a lack of shields on the front line right now? Can an opponent archer wipe your side out? Then take out their archer. Is there about to be a breach in the opponents defense somewhere you are not? Lobe a shot or two in support and help clear their path. The defense may not be expecting it and exposing opportunities.

In the end, making the opponent frustrated or angry isnt the goal. But if they do get frustrated they will do things like suicide, or break ranks. This is when you know you are doing your job, I give you exhibit A:

Click here to view the movie: Combat Archery

Lamma Badda Yatathanna

Lamma Badda Yatathanna

Lamma badaa yetathaana (When she* begins to sway)
Lamma badaa yetathaana (When she* begins to sway)
Aman Aman Aman Aman
Hobbii jamaluu fataana (My love, the beautiful one, attracts me)
Aman Aman Aman Aman
Amara ma bilahdatin assarna (He* commands us with a look, with a wink, for a while we look at him, always)
Amara ma bilahdatin assarna (He* commands us with a look, with a wink, for a while we look at him, always)
Aman Aman Aman Aman
Ghahsoun thaana heyna mala (When the branches sway gracefully)
Aman Aman Aman Aman
W3adii wayah hiratii (My promise, my confusion)
W3adii wayah hiratii (My promise, my confusion)
Man li rahiimuu shekwatii (Will he / she* respond mercifully to my complaint?)
Fil hobbi min lay3atii (Who can understand my complaint of love)
Illa maliik il gamal (Except the king* of beauty)
Aman Aman Aman Aman Aman
Fil hobbi min lay3atii (Who can understand my complaint of love)
Illa maliik il gamal (Except the king* of beauty)
Lamma badaa yetathaana (When she* begins to sway)
Lamma badaa yetathaana (When she* begins to sway)
Aman Aman Aman Aman Aman Aman
Hobbii jamaluu fataana (My love, the beautiful one, attracts me)
Aman Aman Aman Aman…