We have only a short range (30 yards) in our local area, so we're limited.
It's constructed with phone books and is about 15 yards at its widest (I
think). We set up 10-12 archers on the line and go through them in flights,
combining them when people become eliminated. Everyone shoots from the same
distance (either 20 or 25 yards). We have all archers start with their bows
on the ground (or resting on their feet) and arrows in their quivers. The
Marshal will call draw. We put our balloons in front of the archer
representing them on the line, which would be bit difficult on most other
kinds of ranges.
Once you're dead, you step off the line. Since it's double elim, you get
another chance, but that's it. That means that sometimes our best archers
are barely in the shoot at all. To guarantee everyone is using balloons of
similar sizes, we started bring out a 9" embroidery hoop this. Balloons
cannot fit through the hoop (everyone blows up their own).
It is great fun and we encourage the audience to taunt and cheer. The first
year we did it, there was a huge chorus of "Kill the Roman" while Drusus,
our Roman, was on the line. Marshals and spectators (including those
archers in later flights) will call an archer dead if they don't see a kill
On a larger field, we've tried a few different things. We've been playing a
team melee variation at practice, with teams determined by rankings of
previous games played. Our two best archers are never allowed to be the
same team (they once tried to rig the game so they'd end up together, we
didn't let it happen). We use a simple formula to figure out how many
balloons (number of archers on the largest team plus one) and then set them
up (you can combine them on one bale or spread them out). Same as the
others, archers start with bows down and arrows quivered.
To appease our two best archers, they created a challenge shoot. The two of
them will take on any six archers in a 7 balloon melee. *cough* They won
the first two *cough* but have been beaten since.
I'm trying to add more of the novelty shoots we do at practice to my website
(there's only a few there now - www.seventharrow.com). We have a lot that
we do that aren't on the site yet.
Behalf Of Siegfried
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 7:01 PM
Subject: Balloon Melee - was: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Archery Proposal
That sounds like a glorious good time, and I might need to just steal that
However, can you provide some more details on exactly how this was
done? You say that you separate out the various colored balloons on
the line. Well, how far out are the balloons? Random distances? All
at the same distance? It sounds like you are implying that you have
all 40 archers lined up and shooting at once. However, if so,
(besides the issues of marshalling that many at once), how do people
know when their own balloons are dead, when they are probably focusing
on everyone else's balloons to kill them. Or once you are 'dead' can
you still shoot?
I can see that working with 'once dead you can still shoot', so you
just keep shooting until there is only one balloon left then check the
name on it. Though I could imagine that often at the end, there is
possibly one 'good archer' who has that final arrow, and ends up
deciding who 'wins' by which balloon they shoot. I think it might be
more fun if once your balloons are dead, you have to stop shooting.
So everyone gangs up on the 'good ones' first so that they aren't
going to just kill everyone quickly. It would also cause great fun
among the good ones as much strategy would be played ... who do they
need to kill first, because that person is good and going to be trying
to kill them. etc.
But how to accurately handle that situation, letting archer's know
when they are dead ... without a marshal per archer, hrmmmm
Now, if you only had 10 people shooting at one perhaps. A small
enough field that you could see everyone's balloons.
Siegfried's evil mind starts thinking of some interesting variations -
and he has the perfect event for it to happen at coming up ...
On 4/2/06, Jessi <divinite@...> wrote:
> One of the shoots we do is called the "Balloon Melee." Each archer gets
> balloons colored by rank (white for novice/unranked, black for bowmen,
> for yeoman, red for foresters and yellow for bow masters). We separate
> the various colored balloons on the line and your balloon represents your
> life, when it pops, you're dead. We continue this until we have one
THL Siegfried Sebastian Faust - http://crossbows.biz/
Barony of Highland Foorde - Baronial Archery Marshal
Kingdom of Atlantia - Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal for Target Archery
http://eliw.com/ - http://archery.atlantia.sca.org/
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