Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Battle; Corona Gramineae

Once the business of muster is completed, the troops line up to march out to the battle field. Lead, of course, by the crown, and our way cool war-drum wagon.

Some of our barony's contingent:

Once on the field, the groups huddle, put on the last of their armor, get a last strategy talk from their commanders.

Each battle has a scenario, such as the following laid out in the War Treaty for this year's war:

One of the very special things about Estrella War is the size and diversity of the armored combat scenarios, and the viewing stands around the battlefields that allow the populace to view this combat. Generally run over a period of days, the scenarios include from 1000 to 1500 armored combatants in two great armies (Allied Realms) fighting fixed, open field, and resurrection battles.

LOCATION: Eastern Battlefield
One stationary, reversible Control Point Banner shall be placed at the mid-point of each of the three bridges (Upper, Middle and Lower Trinity Bridge).
The Control Point Banners shall be in a "neutral" position at the start of combat.
Siege Weapons may be used against combatants.
Combat Archery may be used on the Upper Trinity Bridge, but may not be used on the Middle or Lower Trinity Bridges or in the no fire zone.
DESCRIPTION/STARTING POSITIONS: A timed battle shall be fought for control of the three bridges as follows:
A bridge shall be considered "controlled" by an Allied Realm when the Control Point Banner is fully raised and flying the colors for that Allied Realm.
The Allied Realms shall start with their forces positioned on opposite sides of the Crescent River.
Fighting shall continue to the last man standing, or until 30 minutes (whichever occurs first).
VICTORY CONDITIONS: The Allied Realm with the last man standing, or controlling the most bridges at the 30 minute mark (whichever comes first) shall be the victor. If there are no bridges controlled at the 30 minute mark, or each Allied Realm controls only one bridge, this battle shall be declared a tie.
VICTOR RECEIVES/GAINS: The victor in this scenario shall be awarded one (1) Victory Point, and shall determine their starting position for Battle 3: Ruins of Baron Kragon's Keep Battle. In the event of a tie, the winner of the previous battle shall choose their starting position for the next battle.

From: Heavy Combat Scenarios on the Estrella website.

And here's a pic of 'light' fighters - fencers. Rapier, Heavy, and Archery scenarios are set up separately, though I think there can be combined scenarios.

Alas, there are no scenarios for the forth martial art - Equestrian. But, that will be a subject for another post.

Anyways - battle is... terribly confusing to the uninitiated, which we certainly are. So we tended to watch as we walked by, stop if something identifiable (i.e. photo-worthy) appeared to be taking place, and then go on our way. Since battle was raging most of the day, we had lots of chances to look, then move on.

Dave got a chance to capture this movie, when he happened by and the action was for once very close to the sidelines.

In the evenings we heard tales from the battle field. One day in particular our group had a challenging time in that they kept being successful at charging into the center where they were supposed to be, but then were sitting ducks and thus were killed off quickly.

We learned that there were types of battles known as Resurrection battles - once killed a player could make his way to the sideline and be resurrected to return to battle. An interesting tactic in this type of battle is to wound your opponent badly enough they cannot walk... and then leave them! That way they cannot leave to be resurrected. LOL. Some started killing 'friendlies' in that situation just so they could continue to play.

For some years our barrony has recreated the period tradition of recognizing the warrior who made the biggest impact upon the field by awarding him the Corona Greamineae - literally a crown of grass. This crown was woven of grasses and healing herbs collected from the battle field - awash with the blood of our enemies. Alas, today we imagine the blood.

Mistress Leonora honored myself and Lady Rikvah by inviting us to help collect the grasses, and then construct the crown. It was fun. Before fighting had begun, we dashed on field to collect grass growing underneath our kingdom's banner. And then in the area anywhere there was nice grass or distinctive weeds growing. We did get kicked off the field fairly quickly, but we had plenty by then.

The last evening we held court for our barrony, and the Corona Gramineae to Sir Deotrich, who displayed it upon his banner outside his tent.



Blogger Birdie said...

This is fascinating. I've never read or seen any kind of detail about this sort of re-enactment. Forgive me if you have answered this elsewhere, but how often do you gather? I ask because the kings are crowned for only six months, so how much "reign" are they afforded? Are these events local, regional and national?

3/8/09, 5:55 AM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi Birdie!

Understanding that I am still trying to figure some of this out...! There is so much going on in the SCA we really only get to participate in a sliver of it. There are activities at every level - world wide, Kingdom, and local. This Estrella War is hosted primarily by 3 kingdoms - So CA, AZ, and ours which is NM up through WY. But folks come from all over as it is one of the three biggest annual wars.

Locally our barrony is putting on a 'Studium Generale' this month - it is a full day with over 50 classes being offered.. it's incredible really.( )

Weekly we have guild meetings, practices for fighters, dancers, equestrian, archery, choir... etc, not to mention social gatherings, and planning meetings for all these goings on!

But there are also the neighboring barrony's events, which we like to attend. So I am convinced that if you wanted to drive up to an hour or so - you could find something to do several days a week every week of the year.

Calendars are thus quite prolific thoughout the SCA, here's the one for my kingdom:

3/10/09, 11:53 AM  

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