The Companye recently attended the second of the Medieval Siege Society’s autumn programme of woodland skirmishes.
This one was at Thriftwood Scout site in Essex. We had taken part in skirmishes there before, and found it to be technically challenging. It is wood, but with many open glades interlinked by paths. This means it is possible to quickly gain ground and bring arrows to bear from flanking opportunities – but also means the glades can become ambush hotspots and catch combat teams unawares!
It was really well attended by the Companye and it was great to see a number of our Companye together for the first time since Herstmonceux back in August. It was also fantastic to see Warren, who had been released from the Army for the weekend (though forbidden to take part).
We played a number of games throughout the day. As with any site, some are better suited than others. ‘Dispatch Runner’ was halted as it became apparent the site was not suitable as we had less space than on our previous visit, though Alan H continued his winning streak at this game. Secondly, we found when we tried the ‘Bomb Run’ game it wasn’t quite as much fun as at Tournament Stud and really needs a heavily fortified position which Thriftwood was missing. That said, Adrian the Bayard had us all bent double laughing when he undertook a highly politically incorrect bomb run at one point.
However, the Base Capture game (aka The Relic of St Fraser) was a standout success, and probably the best site we have played it on so far. The layout of the wood meant we effectively had two large wooded areas, each containing a base & flag, yet with a clear glade of ‘no man’s land’ in-between. This became increasingly competitive, as each team tried to evolve tactics to cross this killing ground, yet leave enough to protect their own base.
In these games, Stan the Archer (not a Harrington but a great friend to the Companye) was at his fearsome best. Shot of the day was him shooting Wibble Pot in the bedroom department from at least forty yards. Howard, the Companye’s master woodsman also deserves special mention for an undetected leopard crawl all the way to the enemy base, armed only with a dagger.
However, it was generally agreed that the best moment of the day goes to Marcus – who was the sole survivor from his team and had managed to capture the enemy flag. Up against four remaining team members of the enemy he managed to hide and take one down after they had all walked clean past him – a feat made even more impressive as it was carried out in front of the eliminated members of his team who were watching & cheering from the holding pen nearby! Well done Marcus, it was even worth putting your hair out of place for!
All in all, we had a great day and although the rain decided to put in an appearance at one point it failed to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm.
The MSS will be running some more Skirmishes in the coming months, we’ll definitely be taking part. If you have wondered about them, do come along – it’s really the most fun you can have in armour.
Next up – the Clout shoots, and our banquet!