söndag 7 september 2014

Seasonal report.

It's been a good season for the Company!
This year we have met many interesting people, been to interesting and good events, we have evolved as a group and at same time had fun together.
Some of us at the Tournament in Oslo.

The season kicked off with a visit to Norway and St Hallvards Tournament. This was a full contact tournament with solid lances and we were there to man the "camp" at the tournament grounds. It was the first time I'd seen so many suits of armour at the same place, many made by the best armour smiths in the world. 
It was also the first time I'd seen a proper tournament with splinters flying and armour being bent. The tournaments in Sweden are more like a directed show with knight in knitted maille...

Next in the calendar was the Company of Saint George march that I've covered in previous posts.  

In July, me and Fredrik went together with three other Swedes through Germany to a Company of Saint George event in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. On the way down we had time to visit many museums, cathedrals and small medieval towns during a few days of "vacation" before we arrived at the monastery that we were going to stay at in Schaffhausen. The Company was there to guard and inhabit the town while a large tournament was held and we were billeted in a monastery. We had a lot(!) to do the first days before more people arrived. Guarding, patrolling and drilling was on schedule dusk to dawn, even during the night. We was also helping at the tournament, carrying birds of prey, holding dogs, lifting ladies, picking up broken lances, cutting ropes, building tilts. A lot to do but it was worth it! The tournament was a lot better than that in Norway and it was fun to see the best knights and armours in the world clash together in a small square.
When more people arrived to the Company we could relax a bit and start to get to know some people. Many skilled craftsmen displayed their trade, blacksmiths, bladesmiths, scribes, leatherworkers, musicians showed their trade and even I got my own table to put some of our archery equipment on for display. It seems like our table was appreciated by the visitors.  
Me and Stefan talking to one of the lovely ladies.
It was fun experiencing such a professional event and hopefully we will get the chance to do it again!

For a few years in a row now our group have been attending Riddardagarna i Mariefred. We are there with our camp for four days, talking to visitors and shooting our bows in the arena.
This year we took the experience we learned in Schaffhausen and made a drill that suits our Company. Charles the Bold's Ordinance from 1473 explains a drill with a mixed unit of archers and pikemen advancing together. The pikemen are to kneel at a signal and the archers shoot their arrows over the pikemen's heads. We tried this with our archers and men-at-arms/billmen and it worked. I think this drill could be useful when attacking or skirmishing as a small unit in tight streets when a volley shot at close range could give your infantry an advantage in the mêlée to come. Otherwise I think the archers were deployed in front of the block with infantry to let them shoot at maximum range to counter the enemy's missilemen and/or at a better angle to make more damage to an advancing enemy at close range.
We tried different formations and drilled for the public them for about an hour every day and I think the audience enjoyed it as much as we did even though it was about 30 degrees Celsius. 

After one year as rcruits, we got to new members to our company, Annie and Magnus. Two young and undamaged muppets that's more than welcome to join the circus. 

Last but not least, Söderköpings Gästabud! As usual we gathered to take part in this superb archery competition or shall we call it missile competition since there was two javelinmen competing this year. Orcs, lions, animals from the Luttrell psalter, black knights and an elephant in scale 1:1 were some of the targets we had to bring down on this year's hunting trail.

 The final held eight archers and I was one of them. Last year I won after a nerve wrecking duel, this year you had to win three duels to win the whole competition. On trembling legs I did it this year again! Söderköpngs Gästabud is a great way to end the season and a big thanks to all that arranged the competition!

Fotos: Annie Rosén, Inge Durst and Robin Eriksson.

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