Long weekend at home

In the end, it was the preferred choice. I had the option to attend another event, but this ancient carcass is still recovering really from Bosworth. And I have commitments to the Pinkie event in a few weeks time. So balancing out current abilities, potential issues and likely additional damage, the sensible side of the brain overruled the giddier side.

It would have been nice to support – and to also get to at least one event this season to then justify the membership paid out – but I’m quite assured all can survive without me. I remain happily on the fringe of all that, an old acquaintance who may one day put in another appearance. I have no need to re-establish commitments and ‘reputation’, or to sidle in and take over roles. This aspect will remain a sideshow, as the new focus is on the Medieval interests.

Talking of which, I’ve invested in some books to further the knowledge. I may well post up some thoughts and comments once I’ve read them. That too is a pleasant return to old habits of historical research in order to gain a better familiarity.

 

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Bosworth 2017

I had an excellent weekend away at the Bosworth Battle-fest, getting involved in ensuring Tricky Dickie’s short reign was quickly concluded. First time I’ve been there on camp for the entire weekend, and successfully managed to do three of the four battles. But I did come away with a tactful jabbing reminder that I need to source better all-round armour protection now.

I’ve spent the past five years (that long already?) in acquiring bits and pieces that have provided me the basic level of ability as a common ranker. But I now know I need either a brigandine or a coat-of-plates for better body protection. The latter of those will be suitable if I want to continue as a humble billman and despite having to have it made by someone, it’s crude construction will be cheaper. The former will take longer to make and cost more, but it then has the potential to denote a higher status individual. It’s potentially useful too for use in other periods. And I do have the money to afford it.

We’ve also obtained a lot more kit for LH use on the camp. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in successfully purchasing unwanted or spare kit from others, at a lot lower price to purchasing brand new items. So that has meant we have a sizeable ‘footprint’ of our own for ourselves and anyone who would want to ‘guest’ alongside us at future events.

So there’s one more Medieval event left, plus the Tudor event we promised to support, and potentially there’s the usual August Bank Holiday event too. I’m not sure about this one. It’s this coming weekend, but while I considered going to support my old friends, I still feel tired (and just a bit battered) from Bosworth, plus there’s a few aspects I’ve now learnt about that just put me off in committing to attend. I loathe pointless waiting around and time-wasting. And the Sunday timetable reeks of all that. As I was only interested in the Sunday & Monday anyway, I’m still weighing it up on whether to go. On the one hand I want to support the aspiration and ambition – but I don’t have the patience for all the crap that may well happen. Indeed it is a ‘maybe’ – but it’s an outcome so true to form, so expected from all the past experiences, it does put the potential positives into the shade for me. So why go when you expect disappointment? It does demonstrate to myself I still don’t have the right mindset yet.

I have a few days yet to decide one way of t’other, but for now, I’m quite content with the excellent weekend I just had.

 

Castle actions in Wales

So the weekend was spent at Chirk Castle, with some other Woodvilles as guests of the Marcher Freemen. A really enjoyable weekend, despite the very un-summery weather.

It’s been a while since we’ve done serious LH work but it was a good reminder of what we can do, remembering past events and re-applying knowledge and experiences. And we’re steadily rebuilding the kit to do more of the same again.

It was also especially useful to get friends back into this again as well. I’d long been recommending that they would appreciate and enjoy the medieval environment as a new venture. I think I’ve had some success, as they all enjoyed their time spent at Chirk and are now looking forward to Bosworth.

I just need to improve my current levels of fitness and agility. Nothing new there then!

 

A late return to here

Most remiss. I should have posted up a follow-up sooner.

The medieval weekend was most satisfactory. As well as stomping about in part-armour, getting clunked and doing some clunking myself, I actually got the time to target-shoot with my longbow. I think I’m getting slightly hooked to be honest.

My longbow could be considered a ‘starter’ model, and I’ve not had it long. It’s well made and has a pull of under 40lbs, so it’s actually quite lightweight compared to some others bows my friends have. But I’m happy with it regardless.

One thing I do now need is a target-bag – something to shoot ‘points’ into so that they can be easily retrieved. I’ve seen some for sale, but I’ve also seen a few ideas for making my own. We shall see over the coming weekend whether I can start on the latter.

 

5-day working week, 4-day weekend

That’s an arrangement I like. And it’s a weekend to go a-trundling to do battle (well, perhaps the odd skirmish or tussle).

The dining table is currently festooned with sallet, bevor, gauntlets, dagger, bastard sword, axe, gloves, longbow, arrows and other varied items of the panopoly-of-war. Aye – it’s a big dining table.

It may be only the second such weekend this year, and it’s apparently a small cosy event at a castle close to the old Marches, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward too. And My Beloved is venturing forth with me, which I’m really happy about. Medieval may be my favoured period, but I’m glad she’s coming along to see what it’s all about.

And as there’s destined to be time a-plenty between demonstrations, bouts and clashes, I thought to take a few period games as well. So packed away are my bags of bone and wooden counters, wooden dice and my crude leather mat for ‘Tables‘ (the medieval version of Backgammon) – similar, except you use 3 dice not 2, there’s no American Doubling Die from the 1920’s, and it’s generally a race game. And then there’s another smaller leather piece marked up for ‘Alquerque‘ – it has a similarity to Draughts, but it’s more complex. Have a peruse with the links below.

So hopes for easy travelling and fair weather, and a comfy relaxation, and ales by the fire while we catch up with what we’ve all been up to over the Winter. And I will get to twang off some arrows at some point – I need to invest the time in the longbow, as well as battle and clank away with the polearms. Above all else, I need to exercise this carcass of mine, so thankfully the Tuesday is already scheduled to be an extra day for the weekend.

I’m old, but I’m not daft.

Tables

Alquerque

Standby – 4-day weekend ahead

Excellent. Plenty of time for getting back into various ideas. And no travel required to any campsites or castles.

Ogre – both the boardgame and the miniature version, the former first for sorting out storage and counter trays, setting up some trial combat games with the S&TO counters, taking some pix, writing up notes, etc., and then the latter to recover the stored WIP trays of unpainted and primed armoured hardware collected from years back, to increase the current collection of suitable Ogre Miniatures bits & bobs. It’s also why I’ve been visiting Kallistra to check out any new developments of the Hexon range. They are my hex-tiles of choice for playing the in-betweeny hybrid version of Ogre/Ogre Miniatures.

Therefore DR (Dragon Rampant) squidges nicely between these two. I have the figures set to one side for some attention, so that I can increase the available forces to make Warbands from. I also know I have a lot of stashed 28mm plastic sprues, from Mongols & Arabs to Fantasy stuff. In amongst all that are some Vikings – maybe it’s because I’ve been watching them on the tellybox, either ‘Vikings‘ or ‘Last Kingdom‘, but I find both suitably inspiring to look at them as a first make-&-paint project for ‘DR‘ too.

And besides which, the game table in the DoMA remains set-up for DR from the Brew-Up weekend and it seems a shame to waste all that effort. So my idea is to set up some contests to play thru some of the rules aspects, and included in that are the Spells too.

Reminder to self: take some pix, use them for write-ups.

Additional reminder to self: charge up the battery pack on the DMC-G10.

Finally, at some point I also need to configure my own medieval armour protection. That will involve donning the padded jacks/arming coats, fitting on the plate metal fancies, and configuring where the tie-points need to be made. It’s an interesting exercise actually: as it then allows you to appreciate how different the seventeenth century armour was. More mass-produced, but manufactured in such a way, that there’s a lot less time required for pre-combat preparation, and a lot less assistance required in donning it. Not so the medieval stuff. To have it work to best possible performance, you need to take that time setting it up ‘just-so’ – and you need another pair of hands to help you do it.

So here’s to a more productive weekend than the last one.

 

Going medieval in Leominster

Had a great time at a one-day event at the Leominster priory, being medieval again.

Things that I have learnt/discovered:

  • I am unfit after a winter of doing not a lot
  • I am overweight, see above
  • I really need to sort out my arming jack to properly fix my armour to it
  • I need a better sallet and bevor
  • I need to invest in a polearm
  • I need to get on with longbow training
  • I still need more soft-kit

But other than that, it was a quite special event. Sitting in the priory later in the evening, as our hosts fed us a banquet, with the sounds of medieval instruments, gazing up at the high walls and ceilings to take in the decor, and chatting with good people, you begin to really appreciate how important days and nights like this are to the well-being of oneself. I need to do more of it this year. And I need to get back to planning stuff too, like the two Scottish events this year – Thirlestane and Pinkie.

Effort and time applied can only reward you all the more later.