Armored Combat & Rapier
Heavy List Fighting
Armour in the SCA is fashioned after historical examples and made of a variety of materials--metals, leather, and plastic--with modern equipment hidden as much as possible. Whether one chooses to portray a Norman cnight, a Saxon thegn, a Norse huscarl, a Byzantine cataphractos, an English esquire, or any other variety of man-at-arms is immaterial--in the SCA all of these coexist on the same battlefields and lists together.
Rattan--similar to a solid bamboo--is used to construct the wide array of weapons (sword, axe, spear, mace, poll-arm, the sword of war or great sword, dagger, and others) that are used by Armoured Fighters during combat. Instead of snapping and splintering, rattan fibers separate along the length. A worn out piece of rattan looks a lot like a broom. Most newer fighters choose to begin with sword and shield, but many branch out quickly into the use of one or more of these chivalric weapons, finding different pleasures and challenges.
Deeds of arms are conducted weekly, at practices, tournaments, melees, and wars. These are held inside and out, depending on the availability of an appropriate hall and the prevailing weather.
Crossbow men (and women); siege engines, trebuchets, onangers and ballistas; javelins, and more...This is where archers dressed in the protective armor of our heavy fighters can get onto the battlefield and shoot at live combatants. Special equipment is used to prevent actual injury during combat. Large blunt heads for the arrows prevent them from penetrating helmets and low powered bows keep people safe on the field. Combat archery is more akin to armored combat than to target archery and is considered one of the many weapons form used for that activity.
Rapier / Fencing
Safety and consideration for our fellow rapier fighters is a foremost concern in SCA rapier play, followed closely by the ideals of Honor, Courtesy, and Chivalry. We utilize various types of metal blades and modified modern fencing gear to recreate civilian combats from the late 1400's down through the end of theSCA period, 1600 (such as Shakespeare chronicled in 'Romeo and Juliet').
We differ from Olympic style fencing in our use of slicing cuts, secondary weapons such as daggers, extra swords, cloaks and the like, and non-linear movement; we're not restricted to back-and-forth movement found on a modern Olympic strip!
Hits are determined the same way in armoured combat, vis-a-vis the honor system based on recognition of the blows received. However, our blows are not struck with as nearly as much force as armoured combat.