Pennsic War

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Just before the start of the Field Battle, August 11, 2006

The Pennsic War is a huge camping event staged annually in late July-early August (formerly mid-August) by the kingdoms of the Middle and the East and featuring a friendly war between the two kingdoms and their various allies, along with many other tournaments and activities. It has been held for many years at Cooper's Lake, Pennsylvania, in the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, formerly a principality of the East.

The event features a vast concourse of merchant's booths, many formal courts and important social activities, parties, classes and meetings. There's even a daily periodical, the Pennsic Independent.

The war, also called simply Pennsic, is the social event of the year for the SCA, especially east of the Rocky Mountains, and everyone who is able attends, to the number of 10,000 in recent years. The war is so important that in the Middle we differentiate not between Summer and Winter reigns but between War and Winter reigns. To reign during the period of the War and therefore lead the kingdom in warfare, to be ennobled at the Great Court of all the Laurel Kingdoms, to be chosen as an Unbelted, Rapier or Archery Champion for the duration of the War, and most especially to be knighted on the Pennsic battlefield, is accounted a very great honor in the Middle.


Schedule of Events

Pennsic runs for two weeks. The first week, called "Peace Week" is usually more lightly attended and the second week, called "War Week", begins with Opening Ceremonies and all of the battles, competitions and tournaments which count for the War points happen in the second week.


There are usually representatives of all 20 Kingdoms at the Pennsic War, and each Kingdom and some of the great Households such as the Great Dark Horde, choose which side they will fight on in the war. An unpopular King can result in one Kingdom being vastly outnumbered on the field of battle.

Winning the War

The exact number of battles and how many points each is worth are the subject of detailed negotiation between the Crown of the Middle Kingdom and that of the East Kingdom.

A typical war will have:

  • several Champions battles (both Rapier and Armoured)
  • a Field battle (Armored, possibly rapier as well)
  • a Woods battle (Armored, possibly rapier as well)
  • a Castle battle (since the fort was built) (both Rapier and Armoured)
  • some special or unique battles (Such as bridge or mountain pass battles
  • an Archery champion's shoot
  • archery populace shoot.
  • Arts and Sciences Champions competition

Usually winning a particular battle is worth a number of points; the side with the most points at the end of the War wins. What do they win? Absolutely nothing. The point of the War, many will say, is not winning, but having fun testing our mettle against our worthy and honorable opponents. "To do all things with honour, twinborn with our Warrior's might / To share with daylight's foemen campfire's friendship, come the night."

See also red tape, blue tape.

Who Won?


The attendance at the event increased dramatically from approximately 150 people at the first two Wars to a recorded maximum of 12,001 in the year 2000 (Pennsic XXIX) exact numbers are not known for the next Pennsic, Pennsic XXX, which may have been slightly higher being an anniversary year. estimates 12,000.

Chart of yearly attendance. Recorded attendance peaked at 12,001 in the year 2000 at Pennsic War 29 (Exact numbers are not available for Pennsic War 30 which may have had a higher attendance.)

External Links

  • [1] Official Web site for the Pennsic War
  • [2] Highly informational site about the Pennsic War
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