Oaken Army

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THE OAKEN REGION is made up of more than 30 groups in Ohio and Kentucky and is divided into the North Oaken region (all of Ohio except the southwest corner) and the South Oaken region (Kentucky and southwest Ohio)

The Oaken Spear


At the coronation of their excellencies Ragnvalder and Arabella several commanders of the Oaken region gathered to discuss ways of motivating troops for the upcoming war. An excellent suggestion was made to create an award that would motivate Oaken to great deeds. Initially, the idea was to create a live-steel spear to be awarded to the best Oaken spearman at Pennsic. This idea was received with great interest by all. After much discussion and thought, it was decided that the award would be given to the Oaken fighter (not just spearman) that demonstrated the greatest "fighting spirit" in battles during melee season and at the War.

The Oaken Spear, called LANGAR THURS (meaning "Long Thorn" in Norse) was crafted by Thorfinn Bearbrother and presented to the Oaken command staff of Pennsic XXVIII to give to the gentle most worthy. LANGAR THURS is a legacy spear, and shall be handed down from year to year.

The recipient of this honor is chosen by the combined decision of the current Oaken command staff, the chivalry of the Oaken region and the present holder of LANGAR THURS (none of which are eligible to receive the honor). It is awarded after all deciding have been queried -- ideally, as soon after Pennsic as possible.

LANGAR THURS was first awarded to Herr Konrad Mailander for the excellent work he did in helping rebuild, train and motivate the fighters of the Barony of Red Spears; and for leading them to great deeds on the fields of Pennsic XXVIII.

LANGAR THURS is a shining reminder of the feats of valor that can be achieved by the stalwart fighters of the Oaken region. Spread the tale of the Oaken spear far and wide so that every person that takes the field at Pennsic -- from the greenest newbie to the most seasoned Knight -- may strive to live up to the legacy that is LANGAR THURS!

Recipients of the Langar Thurs

  • Konrad Mailander - Pennsic XXVIII
  • Niko - Pennsic XXIX
  • Cumhara of Holyhead (Kope) - Pennsic XXX
  • Hamish mor Dubh nan Cath - Pennsic XXXI

The Field of Honor

caption="Oaken Banner"
caption="North Oaken Banner"
caption="South Oaken Banner"

Written by Mistress Elwynor ferch Alwyn , OL.

The drums beat soundly
To lead us to the field
We stride forth proudly
Bold weapons we shall wield
They ring out loudly
To say we will not yield
In battle we will stand together, together
As brothers on the Field of Honor

With banner held high
And armor gleaming bright
Fierce is our war cry
A symbol of our might
March on to glory
Steadfastly we shall fight
In battle we will stand together, together
As brothers on the Field of Honor

The Dragon leads us
Go forth to victory
Our foes to vanquish
With skill and bravery
Cry "Midrealm!" for
Such noble company
In battle we will stand together, together
As brothers on the Field of Honor

Combat Archery Tactics

Combat archery is a fun and exciting activity. Although it looks easy, it is an advanced fighting style that requires a bit of skill and knowledge. Listed here are some basic tactics for combat archers and melee commanders. Free-roaming archers are great skirmishers, but whenever possible, combat archers should be given a specific mission or target based on threat. For example:

  • Siege weapon crews - Depending on the engine type and the applied combat conventions, they can do massive amounts of damage. They will usually be well protected, so killing them won't be easy. At a minimum, shoot enough arrows at the siege engine crew to decrease the engine's rate of fire.
  • Opposing archers - Once they are eliminated, you can concentrate on the remaining troops unhindered.
  • Fighters with two-handed weapons (i.e., spears and polearms) - They present the greatest threat to your shieldwall, but they are easy targets.
  • Commanders, Royalty, and Chivalry - They will generally be wearing items that denote rank (special tabbard, coronet, white belt, etc). While not all members of Royalty or Chivalry will be part of the formal command structure, it's safe to assume they're giving commands from within the line.

Once a mission is in place, archers should apply these basic tactics:

  • Combat archery has it's maximum effect in static battles, such as a bridge battles or a mountain pass.
  • If terrain allows, try not to shoot from a fixed position. Instead, strike at a target then move to a new location. Keep the enemy guessing where you are.
  • While a pavise provides cover, it also lets the opposing archers get a fix on your range. Try not to get pinned down.
  • Golftube arrows are easy to dodge, so long range arrow duels are generally a waste of time and arrows. One exception is if the opposing archers are bunched up, a single nimble archer can force a arrow duel to tie them up and keep them out of action
  • If possible, set up overlapping fields of fire so that targets have too many directions to watch for incoming arrows.
  • Do not become so focused on selecting targets that you lose track of the battle around you. You're a heavy combatant and can get hit.
  • If possible, pair up with another archer to provide an extra set of eyes. If the enemy charges you, separate in opposite directions. One of you will be presented with a clear shot.
  • Because crossbows require less space to operate than a long bow, they can be very useful in the second rank of the shieldwall. In effect, they can take the place of a spearman. They can also be used one-handed for shooting around the end of a shield wall or they can be held up over the heads of your front line.
  • At all times, watch for targets of opportunity. This is usually someone who is not paying attention, especially fighters that lower shields to a rest position or commanders in conference.

After a resurrection battle at a recent event, an opposing commander commented that he was ineffective as a leader because he was continually hit with arrows. When a force of archers are organized to accomplish a specific mission, combat archery becomes a weapon system that can influence the outcome of a battle.

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