Martial Events and Marshals – What are these noisy events?

Martial events

Rowany Festival 2023 will feature lots of sporting, simulated, medieval combat. Sporting, as we play games that have a result. Simulated, as we have safety protocols, so injury is minimised, and medieval as we try and represent combat like that of the medieval and renaissance time period.

What is a Marshal?

A Marshal is a warranted and trained officer who does their best to make sure safety protocols and rules are followed. Even simulated combat is dangerous, so always follow the instructions of the people carrying black and yellow striped sticks or batons and wearing black and yellow badges with swords, arrows, or horses on them. They are there to keep everyone safe, but you must look out for yourself and never cross barriers that keep you away from weapons, horses and arrows

What types of martial activities will there be?

Armoured rattan melee combat or ‘heavy combat’ simulates the classic knights of old with hand-to-hand weapons like war swords, spears, and polearms. The armour is of heavier grades of steel and padding. The weapons are made of rattan, and the strikes need to be very solid to count as a killing blow to win a bout. A sword strike hits about as hard as the hardest punch you can throw, but the armour saves the wearer from injury. There will be more than one tournament a day.

Tournaments happen when rattan melee combatants get together. There will be many tournaments at this festival.

Armoured ranged combat – Archers, Hand Missile combatants and siege engineers need to wear steel helmets and medium padding. Their weapons are strong arms, bows and siege engines, and their ammunition types are wooden shafted arrows with a rubber safety tip, javelins, and siege arrows. This ammunition hit hard, like a paintball pellet or a squash ball at full speed.

War is what happens when the armoured combatants get together. This will be fought in large fields and tight forts. Larger forces of mixed types will come together, and one side will vanquish the other by killing the other side or taking an objective first! There will be two main war days on the timetable.

Armoured Steel melee combat or ‘cut and thrust’ is fought with medium weight steel armour and medium weight safety steel weapons. It is not fought to full blooded blows, only ‘to the touch’ or long slices called ‘draw cuts’. To the touch still means about as hard a painful jab with a finger. Cut and thrust is a newer art and will not have many events. It is worth catching for the steel-on-steel sound!

Unarmoured steel melee combat or ‘fencing’ or ‘rapier’ is fought with a fencing mask and light armour. The weapons are light steel blades, and this art simulates the civilian street combat of the renaissance. Once again, fencing is fought ‘to the touch’ or with ‘draw cuts’. Rapier is very popular and there will be many events on the timetable each day.

Fencing War brings together a black powder slow loading pistol simulator (firing very safe rubber band ammunition) and the melee combatants for many large combat scenarios. Once again, the rules might be ‘kill them all’ or taking objectives.

Equestrian is medieval cavalry  training, including the use of archery,  swords and lances to perfect battlefield skills.

Target Archery when the archers are not donning armour, they get out their sharp arrows and practice their arts more peacefully on the archery range. The events range from multiple range and multiple round events with results collated for international competitions to simpler events shooting fun targets.