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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 3:32 pm    Post subject: Medieval Milsim?         Reply with quote

Hey guys, finally thought I'd make an account here after kinda lurking here for quite some time now haha. Anyways, the main point of this post is to see what you guys would think about doing a medieval milsim type event.

So I've been an airsoft (Essentially BB gun wars for adults if you are wondering.) enthusiast and 20th century militaria collector/ reenactor for a few years now, and have recently started to gain an interest in medieval reenacting- the battles in particular. From what I've seen and researched, most (if not all) of the reenactments are based around a certain battle or a series of battles, and only allow for weapons and armor from a fairly narrow period of time (understandably so). Also, most of these battles are the same every year, with the same side winning, the same people dying, etc. After noticing the repetitiveness in a large portion of these reenactments, I started to wonder: Is there anything like airsoft Milsim in the medieval reenactment world?

To those who don't know, airsoft Milsim is basically a real world force-on-force battle between two sides, but instead of real guns, airsoft guns are used. Typical Milsim events involve anywhere from 50-60 people all the way up to 200+ (in my experince at least.) and take place over 3-4 days. It is essentially like being in the military for a few days.

This brings me to my original question: How feasible would it be to make a Milsim-esque event for medieval reenactors; With it involving a command structure, free flowing battles, orders, organization, and all the other staples of medieval warfare? I would like to think that it would be fairly feasible provided land could be found and all the proper permits and safety waivers were aquired/created. What do you guys think about this idea? Is it good? Bad? Ugly? And do you have any other ideas that could help make this type of thing come into being?

Also, apologies if this is a very unclear post, I'm currently running on fumes and am half asleep. I most likely left out a bunch of stuff to help this whole thing make sense. I will clarify everything as it comes up. Peace.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,258

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you heard of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)?
http://tribe-images.s3-website-us-east-1.amaz...5556de5138

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I was looking at that! Probably gonna end up joining at some point. But where the SCA differs from what I would want to try is that I wouldn't just want to stay on the same rectangle of land. It would be cool to do what the Milsim airsoft guys do and get a hold of a big chunk of land and have one camp on each side of it and let each general try and locate the enemy and decide the field of battle themselves using scouts and the like. So then it wouldn't be a big mob in a rectangle. It would possibly be ranks of infantry marching out to meet the enemy at random locations across the playable land. It would also add to the whole strategy of everything.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,235

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there are probably dozens of padded-weapon ("boffer") and latex-weapon battle groups and LARPs (Live Action Role Playing) out there, in the US alone. Here's a few I know of off the top of my head:

http://www.dagorhir.org/
http://www.dagorhir.com/

http://amtgard.com/

http://www.darkon.org/

And yes, Amtgard is named after me and my sister! (Not my fault!) There's also one called NERO.

Most of these are fantasy-based rather than strictly medieval, but they certainly have the numbers. And a LOT of fun. Cheaper and easier to get into than the SCA, as a rule. I've played with a couple different groups, a few decades ago. Got fireballed by a wizard on my own side, once--"friendly fire"...

Latex weapon combat has been growing, as I understand it, though I was never in that loop and don't have any contacts. Sometimes the more strictly living history groups will have latex weapons for sparring and fun brawling at non-public events, or just after hours.

In the UK and Europe you find more strictly medieval groups with more emphasis on competitive combat with blunted steel weapons. Never tried that, myself, though I've done semi-choreographed steel fighting.

Generally speaking, if you can think of it, someone has probably got a group for it! Have fun!

Matthew
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Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2016 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Slade Gulan wrote:
Yeah, I was looking at that! Probably gonna end up joining at some point. But where the SCA differs from what I would want to try is that I wouldn't just want to stay on the same rectangle of land. It would be cool to do what the Milsim airsoft guys do and get a hold of a big chunk of land and have one camp on each side of it and let each general try and locate the enemy and decide the field of battle themselves using scouts and the like. So then it wouldn't be a big mob in a rectangle. It would possibly be ranks of infantry marching out to meet the enemy at random locations across the playable land. It would also add to the whole strategy of everything.


Do some research on Pennsic War in the SCA. That is not the only place the SCA does woods battles/defending castle battles. But it is one of the largest events (2 weeks. Fighting scenarios are only 1 week/war week) where as many as 2,000 individuals are fielded at a time. Also many battles have ranged weapons (crossbow and archery).
Check out Youtube and look up woods battle and castle battle.
-Terry
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2016 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One problem with this is that we have a few military manuals, but even fewer of them have been transcribed into readable modern letter and only one or two have been translated into modern languages. Until these sources can be made more widely available, we'd end up using too much guesswork to really be doing a simulation.
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Kyle Eaton





Joined: 28 Jun 2013

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2016 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Only problem with the SCA is that it doesn't follow a specific time period of clothing and armour. The fighting techniques and skill developed is focused within the safety regulations rather than the actual styles of fighting. The SCA is more of a medieval inspired group rather than a historically authentic group if that concerns you at all. If you're just looking into the experience of smacking a wooden club into somebody's metal armour in a large thousand man battle, the Pennsic War is the event to go to in the USA. The problem with the Pennsic event is that its a very controlled event, and there is not a lot of room for anything operation level of warfare. In that case, I don't really think there is a true large medieval milsim group and event.
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu 16 Jun, 2016 2:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you ever heard about "Western Style"-fighting?
I'm not familiar with how widespread it is in the US (I know there's a group in Texas at least), but here in Scandinavia it's the primary reenactment fighting style. The groups participating have their own period of equipment (ranging from broad terms like "viking age" to specifics like "The reign of Queen Margaret")
During the year there's different events, including fighting in terrain, both pitched battles in limited areas and some wargames that can last for most of the day. I haven't heard of fights lasting multiple days, it's something some have talked about and we're exploring the nessescary skills required for it though (how to do night-time fighting safe for example).
I'm rambling, but you might want to check it out.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2016 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah! That sounds kinda like what I was thinking. Would you be able to send me links or resources on that stuff?
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 145

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2016 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have done a experimental event that may interest you...

A 1 day wargame set in Peninsular War, at Fuentes de Ońoro, Salamanca. About half a dozen French soldiers, 15 guerrilleros, and dozens of civilians. Objectives, looting, and combat rules. Real muskets, but no bullets, of course. Fair play is essential. Hand to hand combat was interpreted, as there is no way to have a safe bayonet fight with those long, heavy muskets...or to use metal weapons without any armour.

Urban combat is hard, and when you don't know the village, but your enemies do...getting ambushed in an alley is your fear.

Very different from the usual reenactment Wink

I will translate the rules to English in the next weeks. I call it "Malasańa" like the legendary seamstress killed by the French in Madrid the 2nd May 1808.
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is kind of the type of event/ reenactment that I would be interested in starting for early-late medieval battles. To have a battle not directly copying a real life engagement, but rather just a battle in the style of that time period, with more of an emphasis on fun rather than historical accuracy. And thank you for translating! I'm sure your rules and game style will help me better explain what I have been thinking of.
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2016 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that I am on Christmas break, I will try to type up an example scenario of what I am trying to show.
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2016 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who says metal weapons can't be used safely without armour? (gloves and crotch-cups not counted)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsXXKckXjIk

I'll see if I can get you some more links later, but for now, here's a tidbit of the kind of stuff I'm involved with.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The previous video was from a wargame with specific objectives and quite a lot of tactical positioning as well as a limited number of respawns for the entire day (to have a bit fighting for everyone, but mostly tactics).
Here's one from a more normal situation, it's from a training weekend in Norway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6gZVld8VI8

As you probably can see there's mostly viking age participants, but some groups do different periods like the 13th century, Agincourt, Roman Legionaires or something else entirely.

Some events gather several hundred people, and although these generally is held in front of audiences and given a historical frame for their benefit, the fights are often not scripted. In Denmark for instance there's a couple of markets that have between 2 and 500ish fighters where the commanders for each group will meet with their army's general the night before and discuss battle tactics they will employ the next day.

To give you some measure of scale, check about midway through this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtoEm6Heh1w



If this looks interesting (disclaimer, it is way more bad-ass when actually in combat, than looking at the footage), then you might want to check out and ask around facebook groups like "Viking-age Reenactment in the USA & around the World" (I think I for some reason have assumed you're american, is this correct?).

Further disclaimer; as you see we're mostly not heavily armoured, as such we're less able to do historically correct killing techniques (no head-shots for instance), but what we do have is a fairly low level of required kit which means that more people are able to join and numbers give us the ability of doing large scale tactical maneuvers. The weapons are also steel and as closely replicated to the historical originals as possible, so although we have to modify some techniques to hit elsewhere than the head, you get a fair feeling of authentic combat.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I saw a few of those videos before. Looks fun! I have a bit of an intro for the type of event that we're currently in the process of creating. We are aiming to do a full on recreation of a medieval-ish era battle/ campaign. Not just a single battle or a few battles just over the course of one day.

This is the first quick draft we wrote up today:


"What these events are attempting to portray is what it would be like to fight in battles during a medieval military campaign. We want to give the whole feel of a medieval battle with all aspects included, not just staged combat. These battles will include all of the elements surrounding a confrontation between two forces- setting up camp, scouting for enemy forces, harassing the enemy camp, skirmishes to test the enemies strength, casualties and hospitals, martial skill, and overall using strategy to win the day.
This will all be accomplished in a non-linear style. Everything that occurs will depend solely on the decisions of the participants in the field, nothing will be pre-decided and nothing will be staged- the entire battle will happen organically.
Another reason this system was created was to have a free form way of reenacting that would allow reenactors from other time periods to fight alongside each other. This adds to the experience as it allows for much larger battles to be fought due to the allowance of more individuals.
The time periods we plan to encompass is from roughly from the 10th century to the 16th century. These periods were chosen as it contains most of the iron age and medieval time periods. This allows for a possibly large number of participants in these events."

That is just a quick and dirty explanation. We plan to have a full on immersion based event spanning over three or four days (or possibly more). It will give the experience of being a part of a medieval army, and not just a reenactment for a few hours in front of a bunch of spectators.
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2016 4:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds interesting. We've talked loosely about this sort of thing over here, but the two big questions we've had is organizing it and doing it safely. For the past two years we've done experiments with night time fighting and found that while it does add an extra element of risk and upends a lot of our skills (an inability to pick up on small details in the opponent we use to read their moves such as eyes, the glint of steel and subtle motions of weapons, the lack of debth vision and so on effectively triples the time it takes to parry attacks and gauge distance for instance), it does work if the people involved are experienced fighters (two to three years of training or so).
As it only requires to slip on a pair of gloves as far as safety equipment goes, it does seem like this is the easiest fighting system to adapt for multi-day events with the threat of day-round attacks.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Slade Gulan




Location: United Sates
Joined: 29 Apr 2016

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2016 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The night fighting would be fun, but we weren't thinking about having any sort of large scale battle during the night, as it wasn't a super common thing that happened. Though we may include it later down the road. For night time activities, we were thinking of having raiding and assassination type missions be the main thing. For example having a group of guys try to find and sneak into the enemy camp and try to eliminate enemy soldiers to weaken their forces for a possible dawn attack. Or sneaking in and trying to find and assassinate the commander to throw off the opposing army. We have a few ideas for raiding and 'killing' people while they sleep so it is all done safely and wont require everyone in full armor.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,154

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The musical video...''Holding out for a Viking"...left me feeling so strange in so many ways. WTF?! Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,154

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To quote a famous pirate we all know and love...."I feel sullied and unusual.''...... Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud ........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
The musical video...''Holding out for a Viking"...left me feeling so strange in so many ways. WTF?! Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud ......McM


That was an initiative of my group featuring some friends from other groups (and my girlfriend as it happens, so you better like it!).

We haven't tried large scale fighting at night, partly due to the limiting factor of experienced fighters that we could gather that has an interest in doing something we up until recently have told each other and newbies not to do. I also doubt any sane commander would order large scale battles at night in a wargame anyway.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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