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Re: [SurtrsBrood] combat archery goodness

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  • theregent@optonline.net
    The reason given to me was that after many of us complained for decadess that combat archery is not safe enough as practiced due the the inherently dangerous
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 26, 2008
      The reason given to me was that after many of us complained for decadess that combat archery is not safe enough as practiced due the the inherently dangerous nature of the bolt/arrow construction and the possibility of manufacturing defects even in a good design, there have been a recent minor but confirmed rash of arrows penetrating eyeslots/grilles with greater frequency than they have in the past. Apparently some actual contact with the eyes/face, one resulting in a blown blood vessel in the eye.

      So while we got lucky and no one got killed or permanently blinded (yet), those in charge are taking action on it (commendable).

      Unfortunately the action is somewhat moronic. Instead of a new tip design (or banning the damned things) they are going to have the CA folks that want to shoot us, instead tape material (foam IIRC) to the existing arrow/bolt heads to increase the overall tip diameter.

      Great. So now if some lazy jackass fails to use the right foam (no way to check it under tape) or to tape it properly or maintain it properly AND the CA marshal does not realize it (while checking hundreds of arrows during a war) we are back to square one.

      So fighters will continue to risk getting blinded or killed, so that someone else can get an easy kill from a distance without personally being able to be attacked back (often from cover, behind a freaking tree or even sniping from behind a line at point blank range) often without the fighter even knowing they were being attacked until it is too late to be able to attempt to block or get out of harm's way. Or being able to identify easily the archer that did it to him.

      This is one of the reasons CA continues to annoy me, despite admittedly dramatic improvements over the years in attitude, safety and practices. It is just so very hard to make it realistic, safe and still worth the potential risk for the average participant. If they can't make the damn arrows safe in the first place instead of constantly redesigning them, maybe it is just time to get rid of them altogether.

      Or let the archers shoot only at each other for the next two years; maybe that will inspire better design, if their own ranks become the primary targets.

      Vent, rant, rave...

      Richard Blackmoore
      KSCA East

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tristan Winter
      Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:53 pm
      Subject: [SurtrsBrood] combat archery goodness
      To: SurtrsBrood@yahoogroups.com

      > there are new rules reguarding combat archery. The post is on
      > the scaducks board, I am
      > at work and can not forward it at the moment, but it should be
      > looked at.
      >
      > Tristan
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • blkknighti@aol.com
      I ve been asked to forward this to these lists: Greetings to whom it may concern,  Recently a great deal of thought has circulated regarding the safety of
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 26, 2008
        I've been asked to forward this to these lists:


        Greetings to whom it may concern,

         Recently a great deal of thought has circulated regarding the safety of
        Combat Archery. It's good to have these thoughts aired, as things fester in
        darkness and no one can resolve issues that are never brought to light.

         However, a number of comments such as "inherently unsafe" and "flawed
        design" seem to be tossed about in these discussions. Before committing yourself to
        those words I'd ask you to consider if the act of combat is inherently a safe
        activity. If people never suffer broken bones, bruises, gashes and other
        discomforts from combat. If armor and weapon designs never benefit from
        improvement. The goal is to be as safe as possible, but no matter what precautions are
        taken things happen and we cannot prevent that. We must instead look for ways
        to minimize the possibility of such incidents in the future.

         When an injury occurs obviously a gut reaction solution is to ban the
        activity, or portion thereof. But a more reasoned approach is to look at how the
        activity, or equipment, can be fixed.

         In the case of the recent incidents reported from Combat Archery, the fact
        that should be clear that it is the end padding on the weapons which contacted
        the fighters. Take the padding off, solve the problem? Of course not. But if
        there was no padding there would have been no contact, so it was the padding
        design that needed review, not the core of the missiles.

         With that in mind, the solution to add "sidewraps" of foam that increase
        diameter and resiliency of the tip is a simple and effective solution. It
        ensures that even if the foam loses some resilience there is a lot more of it on the
        sides (not the front, where contact occurred) to aid in the prevention of
        grill penetration. The onus is then on the combat archers, and the CA
        marshallate, to ensure that Combat Archers fix their equipment. Not that fighters change
        helms, etc, because that would be ludicrous.

         Some concerns expressed say there's no way to check the arrow construction
        under the tape. That, lords and ladies, is why we have knives. If ammunition
        is questionable, the archer has a choice - sacrifice one (or potentially more)
        to destructive testing on the spot, or they all fail. Losing one arrow/bolt
        out of 20 or so is not the end of the world, and it can be remade easily at very
        little cost.

         More concerns expressed indicate that some may be missed.during
        inspections. That is always posible whether it's a piece of armor, a weapon's thrusting
        tip, or a piece of ammunition. While I can't speak to other wars, at Pennsic
        this year we inspected over 9000 pieces of ammunition, and ammunition was
        reinspected after each battle it was used in. Ammunition also differed from Kingdom
        to Kingdom, further complicating the marshallate task. The more we can unify
        standard requirements, the better, as it reduces the variance in construction
        and reduces potential inspection mistakes.

         Ideally I'd like to know that any HL marshal could pick up a piece of
        ammunition, check it like they would a thrusting tip, and feel comfortable making a
        decision on it. And that kind of cross-training and standardization makes it
        quicker, easier, and safer for combatants.

         As for "appropriate" scenarios for Combat Archery, that's a whole 'nother
        topic. I'd be happy to discuss that separately with anyone offlist, as I do in
        fact agree that there scenarios that are both appropriate and inappropriate
        (historically and tactically) for CA, and much could be done to find a happy
        medium.

         As always, if you have complaints, suggestions, comments, criticisms,
        rants, etc on Combat Archery, particularly in the East Kingdom or at this past
        Pennsic, my email is always open.... bschonga@...

        Yours in Service,
        Lord Uilleam mac Lenna'n (called Liam)
        East Kingdom Combat Archery Marshal
        Pennsic 37 CA MiC



        **************
        It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
        deal here.

        (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • James Peck
        Thank you Liam for sending this, my responses prefixed with #. I ll forward it to the known world SCA Chivalry yahoo group too. Richard Blackmoore _____ From:
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 26, 2008
          Thank you Liam for sending this, my responses prefixed with #. I'll forward
          it to the known world SCA Chivalry yahoo group too.



          Richard Blackmoore



          _____

          From: BlkKnightI@... [mailto:BlkKnightI@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:04 PM
          To: theregent@...; SurtrsBrood@yahoogroups.com;
          eksouth@yahoogroups.com; fighterpractice@yahoogroups.com;
          sca_chivalry@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [EKSouth] Re: [SurtrsBrood] combat archery goodness



          I've been asked to forward this to these lists:


          Greetings to whom it may concern,

          Recently a great deal of thought has circulated regarding the safety of
          Combat Archery. It's good to have these thoughts aired, as things fester in
          darkness and no one can resolve issues that are never brought to light.



          # Agreed.


          However, a number of comments such as "inherently unsafe" and "flawed
          design" seem to be tossed about in these discussions.



          # Any time weapons are getting through legal eye slots or bar grills, it is
          either a failure of the weapon, its user or the design. Since an arrow is a
          fire and forget weapon, it can't be user error (other than firing at point
          blank range with too high a force, another CA design problem where sometimes
          the force can't be controlled) so it has to be weapons design. Since I've
          felt the current designs to be largely unsafe for years other than the
          baldars and expected exactly this kind of failure, I feel comfortable making
          these comments. The balder blunts were a great example of a very, very good
          design, where manufacturing errors in one batch caused them to fail
          dramatically; worse they were not something you could pick up in an
          inspection, you had to wait for a shaft to go through the head. Thank God
          they realized it before a shaft went through the eye or brain. As a result I
          consider many of the efforts inherently unsafe (if you prefer hard to
          inspect and therefore more likely to cause injury that is fine too). We have
          the same problem in non-SCA jousting, lance splinters sometimes go through a
          vision slot and cause eye injury or death (had one this past year). Most SCA
          folks did not sign up for that level of danger and don't realize that
          defective CA arrows or poor design puts them into similar jeopardy as the
          SCA as a whole has portrayed CA to them as very safe.



          Before committing yourself to those words I'd ask you to consider if the act
          of combat is inherently a safe activity.



          #Combat is not a safe activity, agreed. Though the SCA as a group tends to
          give that impression by implying that society minimums are all you need to
          be safe, rather than the minimum to be allowed on the field at all. Let us
          be realistic. Most Pennsic fighters are weekend warriors. They expect
          bruises to be the most they have to endure under normal circumstances, maybe
          a broken finger or twisted knee if they wear crappy armour or modern sports
          gear (like hockey gloves) when they should be wearing decent armour. They
          don't expect to get hit in the eye or worse blow blood vessels from an arrow
          tip going through their eyeslot or to potentially lose an eye. They think
          that an open face helm with a bar grill with max SCA bar spacing is what the
          SCA is recommending for them to be at least safe enough not to get an eye
          injury from direct contact with an arrow tip.



          If people never suffer broken bones, bruises, gashes and other discomforts
          from combat.



          #Straw man argument. No one ever said these things can't occur. I agree they
          can. But broken bones heal. Gashes heal with cool scars :-) Lose an eye and
          you are in trouble. Losing an eye or even a scratched cornea hardly
          qualifies as 'discomforts from combat'. It is exactly this sort of statement
          from the CA proponents that drives some fighters crazy. I'll accept that
          someone might accidentally hit me too hard in an illegal target and break a
          bone in my finger or wrist (both have happened to me). That is different
          than having an archer fire an arrow that I don't see coming, then have the
          arrow tip fail, penetrate the helm and blind me. And comments of this nature
          make some of us feel that some of the CA folks have a cavalier attitude
          about the health, safety and well being of their targets. Which leads to
          resentment and frustration instead of understanding. We can only say so many
          times that we are concerned about CA design, then have a rash of injuries
          caused by CA, just to have people tell us to wear goggles and not expect us
          to go ballistic. I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about my friends,
          especially the less skilled and more minimally armoured ones.



          If armor and weapon designs never benefit from improvement. The goal is to
          be as safe as possible, but no matter what precautions are taken things
          happen and we cannot prevent that. We must instead look for ways to minimize
          the possibility of such incidents in the future.



          #Of course, I agree 100%. There will always be freak accidents. 4 incidents
          in one battle (read the report) is not a freak accident or set of them. It
          is weapons design flaws and failures (with the exception of any fighters
          dumb enough to wear an illegal helm with overly large openings as some did,
          the marshals should be catching those to by the way).

          When an injury occurs obviously a gut reaction solution is to ban the
          activity, or portion thereof. But a more reasoned approach is to look at how
          the activity, or equipment, can be fixed.
          #No. This is not a gut reaction. I and others have been saying the same
          thing for well over a decade (actually two decades, getting old sucks). We
          tried a reasoned approach and were told time and again that CA is safe, we
          should stop whining, that we really just don't want to be shot, etc. Well
          the failure rates on tips are mounting, including grille/eyeslot
          penetration. It isn't theoretical. The injuries are happening, we are just
          fortunate that no one lost an eye or died (the balder shaft failure had the
          potential to be remarkably bad). The desire to ban comes from the problems
          not being solved after decades. We've started off with dangerous arrows and
          dangerous swords in ASI. The swords have been made safe. The arrows continue
          to be a problem. Why? Either fix them or get rid of them, the SCA has had
          decades to solve this and it still isn't fixed. People are getting hurt by
          CA at an unacceptable rate. And as I said, break a finger it heals, Poke out
          an eye and it won't heal. At least not correctly.


          In the case of the recent incidents reported from Combat Archery, the fact
          that should be clear that it is the end padding on the weapons which
          contacted the fighters.

          #That is not entirely accurate. Yes the foam contacted the fighters. But the
          report from Sigreid SEM Combat Archery states that the rubber stopper also
          penetrated the helm. We just got lucky on that one. I just forwarded that
          post for anyone who has not read it. I was originally only sent part of it,
          so I reacted worse than I would have if I had seen the whole post, though I
          still hate the solution.



          Take the padding off, solve the problem? Of course not.





          But if there was no padding there would have been no contact, so it was the
          padding design that needed review, not the core of the missiles.
          #I don't agree fully. Duct tape and padding is not in my opinion a safe
          solution when adding duct taped side wraps that can't be inspected without
          destructive testing are the proposed solution. Worse a solution that was put
          into place without the extensive testing any other weapon has to go through.
          If the damned padded side wraps are safe, I want my flail :-)


          With that in mind, the solution to add "sidewraps" of foam that increase
          diameter and resiliency of the tip is a simple and effective solution. It
          ensures that even if the foam loses some resilience there is a lot more of
          it on the sides (not the front, where contact occurred) to aid in the
          prevention of grill penetration.

          # I understand the intent, I am glad people tried to come up with a
          solution. It just seems like a poor one to me and one that was done without
          enough testing or without enough consideration for the fact that the right
          padding might not be used by some archers or merchants, so the error won't
          be noticed until yet another fighter gets shot in the face through his
          eyeslot/bar grille. Toss some duct tape and foam on, start firing away.
          Yuch.



          The onus is then on the combat archers, and the CA marshallate, to ensure
          that Combat Archers fix their equipment.

          #Good. Thank you.



          Not that fighters change helms, etc, because that would be ludicrous.
          #No, other lists are already full of posts from CA folks about how we should
          wear glasses, goggles, lexan-plastic face shields, add mesh to our helms,
          add pierced plates, etc. Which is part of the reason I reacted so badly.
          When a heavy weapons weapon design has issues, we stop using it, change the
          design and do testing. We don't expect the targets to change their armour so
          we can hit them with our new toy despite its inherent flaws. To get a flail
          passed (if it gets passed) we have to prove it is safe through exhaustive
          testing. For an arrow tip design change to get passed, it apparently takes
          very little time and is then implemented in pitched battle at a war without
          much testing at all (see Sigfried's report). Arrow design should be held to
          the same standards as HL weapons, so should the testing process.


          Some concerns expressed say there's no way to check the arrow construction
          under the tape. That, lords and ladies, is why we have knives. If ammunition
          is questionable, the archer has a choice - sacrifice one (or potentially
          more) to destructive testing on the spot, or they all fail. Losing one
          arrow/bolt out of 20 or so is not the end of the world, and it can be remade
          easily at very little cost.
          #OK. But obviously it did not work at Pennsic and other wars in Sigfried's
          report. Bad tips, some with the wrong foam got through according to other
          posts. So while I agree with your intent, it did not work. Also your
          solution assumes all arrows in a batch were constructed identically and with
          the same foam. Good luck with that. Even well intended people make mistakes
          and arrows from different batches will be mixed together. Especially those
          purchased from merchants or used from friends. There is zero quality control
          when that happens.


          More concerns expressed indicate that some may be missed.during
          inspections.

          #Yes.



          That is always posible whether it's a piece of armor, a weapon's thrusting
          tip, or a piece of ammunition.

          #Armour does not poke people's eyes out as a general rule and we are not
          firing armour at people's heads. A thrusting tip can be an issue, which is
          why some people worry about single handed swords with low profile thrusting
          tips. Valid concerns I agree.



          But arguing that a particular HL weapon might have issues, is once again a
          straw man argument. Arrow tips of a particular design are either safe or
          they are not. Clearly these and the baldars with the manufacturing problems
          were not. And unlike HL weapons, it is a lot harder to tell if a combat
          archery tip is about to fail, with the baldars it was impossible until they
          did fail.



          While I can't speak to other wars, at Pennsic this year we inspected over
          9000 pieces of ammunition, and ammunition was reinspected after each battle
          it was used in. Ammunition also differed from Kingdom to Kingdom, further
          complicating the marshallate task. The more we can unify standard
          requirements, the better, as it reduces the variance in construction and
          reduces potential inspection mistakes.
          #Absolutely I agree. This is part of the reason I consider CA inherently
          unsafe however. It isn't standardized and it is too hard for the current
          staff to keep up as a result, especially with the volume of ammuntion. So
          bad tips got through the inspection and people were injured as a result.


          Ideally I'd like to know that any HL marshal could pick up a piece of
          ammunition, check it like they would a thrusting tip, and feel comfortable
          making a decision on it. And that kind of cross-training and standardization
          makes it quicker, easier, and safer for combatants.
          #Yes, all good.


          As for "appropriate" scenarios for Combat Archery, that's a whole 'nother
          topic. I'd be happy to discuss that separately with anyone offlist, as I do
          in fact agree that there scenarios that are both appropriate and
          inappropriate (historically and tactically) for CA, and much could be done
          to find a happy medium.
          #Agreed.


          As always, if you have complaints, suggestions, comments, criticisms,
          rants, etc on Combat Archery, particularly in the East Kingdom or at this
          past Pennsic, my email is always open.... bschonga@...
          #Thank you for the invitation. I just sent in an app for the EK combat
          archery yahoo group so I can be better informed. I am not a safety nut,
          believe me.


          Yours in Service,
          Lord Uilleam mac Lenna'n (called Liam)
          East Kingdom Combat Archery Marshal
          Pennsic 37 CA MiC



          **************
          It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.
          (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • souriete
          This sounds like a French knight after the battle of Agincourt. Scolastica ... someone else can get an easy kill from a distance without personally being able
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 27, 2008
            This sounds like a French knight after the battle of Agincourt.

            Scolastica

            --- In EKSouth@yahoogroups.com, theregent@... wrote:
            >
            >
            > So fighters will continue to risk getting blinded or killed, so that
            someone else can get an easy kill from a distance without personally
            being able to be attacked back (often from cover, behind a freaking
            tree or even sniping from behind a line at point blank range) often
            without the fighter even knowing they were being attacked until it is
            too late to be able to attempt to block or get out of harm's way. Or
            being able to identify easily the archer that did it to him.
          • winetastings1@comcast.net
            No milday, but as one who has already lost partial sight in one eye, I won t be fighting in any battle that involves CA until somebody can prove it is truly
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 27, 2008
              No milday, but as one who has already lost partial sight in one eye, I won't be fighting in any battle that involves CA until somebody can prove it is truly safe. Besides, how would you feel as a CA, if you knew one of your arrows "failed" and left someone blind in one eye? It's not worth the risk in my opinion.

              Triona


              -------------- Original message --------------
              From: "souriete" <souriete@...>
              This sounds like a French knight after the battle of Agincourt.

              Scolastica

              --- In EKSouth@yahoogroups.com, theregent@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > So fighters will continue to risk getting blinded or killed, so that
              someone else can get an easy kill from a distance without personally
              being able to be attacked back (often from cover, behind a freaking
              tree or even sniping from behind a line at point blank range) often
              without the fighter even knowing they were being attacked until it is
              too late to be able to attempt to block or get out of harm's way. Or
              being able to identify easily the archer that did it to him.




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • theregent@optonline.net
              Non, je suis anglais. Richard Blackmoore ... From: souriete Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:07 pm Subject: [EKSouth] Re: [SurtrsBrood] combat archery
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 27, 2008
                Non, je suis anglais.

                Richard Blackmoore

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: souriete
                Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:07 pm
                Subject: [EKSouth] Re: [SurtrsBrood] combat archery goodness
                To: EKSouth@yahoogroups.com

                > This sounds like a French knight after the battle of Agincourt.
                >
                > Scolastica
                >
                > --- In EKSouth@yahoogroups.com, theregent@... wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > So fighters will continue to risk getting blinded or killed,
                > so that
                > someone else can get an easy kill from a distance without personally
                > being able to be attacked back (often from cover, behind a freaking
                > tree or even sniping from behind a line at point blank range) often
                > without the fighter even knowing they were being attacked until
                > it is
                > too late to be able to attempt to block or get out of harm's
                > way. Or
                > being able to identify easily the archer that did it to him.
                >
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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