Combat Archery in The Kingdom of Acre
Second Edition
Updated May 1, 2001

(Click here for the Combat Archery Rules for Fencing)


Table of Contents

  1. Definitions
  2. Rattan missile combat authorization
  3. Rattan combat heavy archers
  4. General armor requirements
  5. Light combat archers armor
  6. Heavy combat archers armor
  7. Bows
  8. Crossbows
  9. Arrows and bolts
  10. Rattan missile combat rules
  11. Marshaling missile combat
  12. Warrant marshal duties



MSR Rattan Missile Combat Rules

DEFINITIONS

Rattan Missile Combatant: A combatant wearing armor which meets at least the minimum requirements for rattan missile combat and who will be using missile equipment in combat and/or will be participating where Rattan Missile Combat is employed.

Rattan Combat Heavy Archer: A combatant wearing armor which meets at least the minimum requirements for rattan weapons combat and who is using missile equipment in combat. A Heavy Archer is not required to mark his/her helm.

Rattan Combat Light Archer: A combatant wearing armor which meets at least the minimum requirements for Light Combat Archers and who is using missile equipment in combat. Helms for Light Combat Archers must be marked on the sides and back with a hollow white diamond made of white tape.

Rattan Combat Regular: A combatant wearing armor which meets at least the minimum requirements for rattan weapons combat and who is using rattan equipment in combat.

Rigid materials:
Steel of at least 16 gauge or its equivalent.
Leather of 1/4 inch or the equivalent such as cuir boulli.
Leather scales of 1/4 inch or cuir boulli.

Non-Rigid materials:
Chainmail,
Leather of at least 6 ounces,
heavily padded 1/4 Gamboised fabric or
Such period materials as may be approved by the Constable.

RATTAN MISSILE COMBAT AUTHORIZATION

  1. Rattan Combat Archers shall be authorized to participate by the Marshallate with the bow type they are Qualified in Target Archery. During this authorization all Combat Archers must show:
    1. That they are familiar with the Rules of the Lists and the MSR Missile Combat Rules.
    2. That they can recognize and accept a killing blow (as outlined in RATTAN MISSILE COMBAT RULES below)
    3. That they are safe to themselves and their opponents.
    4. That they can keep their bow out of the way during combat.
    5. That they have an awareness of spectator safety.

RATTAN COMBAT HEAVY ARCHERS

  1. Rattan Combat Heavy Archers shall meet the minimal MSR standards for a fully armored, rattan weapons combatant.
  2. A Rattan Combat Heavy Archer may become a Rattan Combat Regular provided that he/she is authorized as a regular combatant and discards his/her bow in a safe manner, so as not to cause a hazard, and replaces it with an approved weapon/weapons and/or shield in the form he/she is authorized.
  3. A Rattan Combat Regular may become a Rattan Combat Archer provided that he/she is authorized as a combat archer and discards his/her weapon/weapons and/or shield in a safe manner, so as not to cause a hazard, and replaces it with an approved bow in the form he/she is authorized.

RATTAN COMBAT ARCHERS EQUIPMENT

GENERAL ARMOR REQUIREMENTS
All missile combatants bear final responsibility for the condition and safety of their own equipment.

  1. All armor, weapons and accouterments used in the list shall be designed to recreate, as closely as possible, items in use in Europe or the Middle East during the period from 1000 to 1500 AD. The wearing of armor and clothing that gives as period an appearance as possible is required, e.g., no exposed knee or elbow pads, duct tape, etc. Any item whose design is flagrantly non-period may be banned. All armor and weapons must be approved by the Marshallate. Appeals may be made to the Constable or Crown.
  2. Armor shall consist of protection for the entire body which includes: boots, greaves, elbow, knee-pieces, thigh armor, breast and back protection from the coccyx to the collarbone (including the hips), shoulder articulation a gorget or equivalent protection for the throat (i.e. camail) a helmet and hand protection.The helmet and body armor shall be designed in such a manner that a sword or other proper weapon cannot make direct contact with the body.
  3. Helms for Combat Archers
    1. must be made of steel, at least 16 gauge steel for light archers, 14 gauge for heavy archers.
    2. No opening on any part of the helm may be more than one inch wide.
    3. There must be at least 1/2 inch of resilient padding between the wearer's head and the helmet's interior.
    4. All helms will require a chin strap.
    5. grillwork or faceplates must be secured in such a manner that no portion of the faceplate may contact the face when force is applied to the faceplate. Grillwork should be of 1/4" bar stock minimum.

LIGHT COMBAT ARCHERS ARMOR

  1. Helms must be marked on the front, sides and back with a hollow white diamond made of white tape not to be less than 3 inches in height.
  2. The following areas must be covered with period rigid materials:
    1. protection for the throat- (gorget or equivalent ie-camail )
    2. sternum and solar plexus (including breast protection for women)
    3. The elbows
    4. The knees
    5. Kidneys
    6. Protection for the groin, in the form of an athletic cup for men or any rigid protection for women This area must be covered such that the cup is not visible.
  3. The following areas must be covered by period non-rigid materials:
    1. the breast and back
    2. Legs from ankles to groin
    3. The buttocks and groin area.
    4. The arms from wrist to shoulder
  4. Hands must be protected by leather gloves and half-gauntlets. A full-gauntlet on the bow hand is highly recommended. NOTE: A light combat archer may not transition to a Rattan Combat Regular.
  5. No Armor is required in the following areas:
    1. The armpit
    2. The inside of the upper arm
    3. The backs of the thighs and calves

HEAVY COMBAT ARCHERS ARMOR

  1. Armor follows MSR Rattan Combat Rules and shall consist of protection for the entire body from head to foot, specifically:
  2. The following areas must be covered with period rigid materials:
    1. protection for the throat- (gorget or equivalent ie camail )
    2. the Breast and back (including breast protection for women)
    3. The arms, from the wrist to the elbow and the elbows
    4. The knees, shins, thigh
    5. Kidneys
    6. Protection for the groin, in the form of an athletic cup for men or any rigid protection for women This area must be covered such that the cup is not visible. boots, breast and back protection from the coccyx to the collar bone (including the hips), hands must be protected by leather gloves and half-gauntlets. A full-gauntlet on the bow hand is highly recommended.
  3. The following areas must be covered by period non-rigid materials:
    1. The buttocks and groin area.
    2. The upper arm, beginning two inches above the elbow to two inches below the shoulder.
  4. Hands must be protected by leather gloves and half-gauntlets. A full-gauntlet on the bow hand is highly recommended. NOTE: If an archer wishes to transition to a Rattan Combat Regular, as soon as he/she puts down the bow, normal rules of rattan, including rattan rules for hand protection go into effect. If basket hilted swords are used, rigid half gauntlets are strongly recommended.
  5. No Armor is required in the following areas:
    1. The armpit
    2. The inside of the upper arm
    3. The backs of the thighs and calves

SPECIFIC RULES FROM KINGDOM LAW
No combatant shall wear, nor Reeve approve, the use of plastic or any other unlawful armoring material. Nor shall any combatant or Reeve omit or approve the omission of any required piece of armor (i.e. boots, greaves, ).

Penalty for the first offense will be the suspension of all qualification privileges for a period of not less than three months for both parties. In addition, the offending Reeve will be suspended from his appointment for three months. Penalty for the second offense will be the revocation of all qualification privileges for both parties. In addition, the offending Reeve will be removed from office. After six months, individuals may petition the Sovereign to requalify.

BOWS

General Requirements:

  1. A Combat Archer may use any recurve or longbow that is in a safe and usable condition, so long as the bow does not exceed 385 inch pounds at the approved arrow length or the users draw length. Bows shall be inspected before use by a warranted marshal, knowledgeable about archery equipment and safety.
  2. No one may shoot a non-approved missile from his or her bow. Shooting an arrow from a bow exceeding 385 inch pounds is not permitted and are grounds for removing a fighter from the field and/or revoking their authorization.
  3. Bows shall be inspected before use by a warranted combat archery marshal.
  4. Compound bows are not permitted. The use of hand bows that have a period appearance is strongly recommended.

CROSSBOWS

General Requirements:

  1. A Combat Archer may only use a Light Crossbow that is in a safe and usable condition. A Light Crossbow is one that does not exceed 385 inch pounds. Crossbows shall be inspected before use by a warranted combat archery marshal knowledgeable about archery equipment and safety.
  2. No one may shoot a non-approved bolt from his or her bow. Shooting an bolt from a crossbow with more than 385 inch pounds is not permitted and are grounds for removing a fighter from the field and/or revoking their authorization.
  3. Crossbows shall be inspected before use by a warranted combat archery marshal.
  4. Compound crossbows are not permitted. The use of crossbows that have a period appearance is strongly recommended.

ARROWS AND BOLTS
Only the current sanctioned MSR approved combat arrows and bolts may be used. New designs or materials for blunts, shafts, etc. must first be tested at a kingdom level for safety and durability.

  1. Arrows and bolts must have the MSR approved combat blunt. The current approved blunt is the Baldar blunt.
  2. Only solid fiberglass shafted arrows and bolts are permitted. Shafts should have a minimum diameter of 1/4 inch and no greater than 5/16 inch.
  3. Blunts shall be firmly seated and secured (glued and cable tie) to the shaft so that they are not loose and cannot come off on impact or if the shaft is broken. Other methods which provide equal or greater safety are permitted with the approval of the warranted combat archery marshal.
  4. An arrows Maximum allowable draw length (bottom of the nock slot to just behind the blunt) is 28 inches. Crossbow bolts must be of a suitable length where it will rest on the table without the blunt interfering with the secure resting of the shaft against the table.
  5. Metal points must be removed prior to mounting blunt points. The front end of the shaft must be flat, not pointed. A slight rounding of the edges is recommended for ease of construction. The use of metal points or sharp shafts will be considered grounds for removing a fighter from the field and/or revoking his/her authorization.
  6. Arrows shall be used only after inspection supervised by a combat archery marshal. Archers shall be responsible for rechecking the safety of all arrows at the time of use.
  7. All arrows/bolts shall be clearly marked for identification with the name of the user to make it easier to locate the maker/owner of the arrows.
  8. Arrows require bird blunt nocks. All arrows/bolts must be fletched. Fletching should be of feathers and may be wipped.

RATTAN MISSILE COMBAT RULES

  1. Hits from an arrow follow rattan rules. Any arrow striking any legal target area is considered a crippling/killing blow. Due to the restrictions which have been placed on missile weapons (i.e., bow draw weight, arrow construction), missiles are not required to strike as hard as non-missile weapons in order for the blow to be counted. Missile hits must strike squarely. If the missile continues its trajectory past the target, it is not considered a hit.
  2. A Heavy Combat Archer is struck/killed by the ˝touchţ manner by Rattan weapon and as any combatant on the field by missile. A cry of "yield" shall be accepted. A Light Combat Archer is killed by the ˝touchţ manner by Rattan weapon and as any combatant on the field by missile. A cry of "yield" shall be accepted.Once killed, Rattan Combat Archers should hug their bow and remove themselves from the field immediately or "die defensively" being removed from combat as soon as practical thus decreasing the chance that a bow will be stepped on.
  3. Anyone striking an archer with excessive force, any archer refusing to acknowledge a touch, or anyone not acknowledging an arrow hit will be called dead by a marshall. Repeat violators will be ejected from the battle and may be ejected from the event or subject to other sanctions.
  4. When Rattan Missile Combatants are on the field, archers must be minimum 10 feet from their target and be within a 180 degree frontal plane in order to loose an arrow at that target. A target struck in the back while turning away from an already airborne arrow is legally struck but an archer should not loose an arrow deliberately at the back.
  5. Arrows may only be used as missiles launched from a bow. No one may shoot a non-approved missile from a bow or crossbow. No arrows/bolts shall be used as hand-held thrusting weapons. Such use may be considered grounds for removing a fighter from the field and/or revoking his/her authorization.
  6. Bows or crossbows may not be used to strike an opponent, nor may rattan combat archers protect themselves from attack with the bow nor may they be used as a shield against rattan weapons.
  7. Arrows should not be blocked, deflected, etc. by a weapon or bow. Should a bow be struck with an arrow it is considered broken and may not be used further in that battle.
  8. No arrows may be gleaned and reinspected on the field by the archer and then reused.

MARSHALING MISSILE COMBAT

  1. The Marshal-in-Charge (MIC) shall be responsible for establishing a safe area for spectators and non-combatants. The Marshal-in-Charge shall ensure that all spectators are made aware of the danger of missile weapons prior to the start of combat. He shall attempt to minimize the risk to all spectators, participants, and bystanders as much as is possible given the constraints of the site.
  2. Where missile combat is to take place, a readily identifiable boundary for the combat shall be established. The Marshal-in-Charge shall establish a safe distance for the spectators from the boundary as is appropriate to the scenario and missiles used.
  3. If any combatant crosses any established boundary (i.e., into a spectators' area), a hold must be called immediately and the combatant(s) involved must be repositioned safely before being allowed to resume combat. Any combatant who crosses such a boundary and then discharges a missile or otherwise endangers a spectator will be ejected from the battle and may be ejected from the event or subject to other sanctions. Any combatant intentionally striking, or attempting to strike, any non-combatant (water bearer, marshal, herald, etc.) with a weapon shall be ejected from the battle and may be ejected from the event or subject to other sanctions. This also applies to any missile user intentionally hitting, or attempting to hit, a non-combatant or spectator with any missile.
  4. Marshals should pay special attention to enforcement of the capture/slaying rules, and to strictly enforcing the above rules concerning crossing boundaries.
  5. It is strongly recommended that minimum MSR rattan armor be worn by all non-combatants, such as marshals, for protection who may accidentally come in contact with combatants or the combat arrows in use.
  6. Marshals are urged to wear marshaling tabards, or carry a clearly marked marshaling staff.

WARRANT MARSHAL DUTIES

  1. They must inspect the armor of the Rattan Missile Combatants to be certain they are properly equipped before allowing them to take the field.
  2. They must inspect and approve any bow that is to be used for Rattan Missile Combat. They will inspect the bow to make sure it is safe and in a usable condition. They will also be charged with measuring the poundage of said bows, making certain they do not exceed 35 pounds draw weight at 28 inches of draw or the equivalent of 385 inch pounds at the approved arrow length or the users draw length. The number of inch pounds is determined by multiplying the length of the "power stroke" in inches by average pounds of pull through the "power stroke". "average pounds" is determined by measuring the weight at full draw and the weight at brace (always zero) and multiplying by 1/2. "power stroke"= the distance between the string at rest (brace) and the position of the string at the users full draw or maximum the arrow may be drawn.
  3. They must inspect and approve any arrow that is to be used for Rattan Missile Combat. They will inspect the arrow to make sure it is safe and in a usable condition and that it is the proper length for the bow being used.
    Method 1: Using the Arrow Length Formula substitute the quantities for the variables ( P is 385 ) and solve for A.
    Method 2: Using a bow scale draw the bow to 35 lbs. then measure the distance from the back of the bow to the string. This will determine the length of the arrow from the nock slit to the back of the blunt.
  4. They must inspect and approve any crossbow that is to be used for Rattan Missile Combat. They will inspect the crossbow to make sure it is safe and in a usable condition. They will also be charged with measuring the poundage of said crossbow, making certain that it does not exceed 385 inch pounds. The number of inch pounds is determined by multiplying the length of the "power stroke" in inches by average pounds of pull through the "power stroke" "average pounds" is determined by measuring the weight at full draw (at the point at which the string is locked into the nut) and the weight at brace (always zero) and multiplying by 1/2. "power stroke"= the distance between the string at rest (brace) and locked position on the string.

    1/2(weight at full draw+weight at brace) times (Power stroke)=inch pounds