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Any strictly defensive object controlled by an armored combatant's off-hand. Usually these are rigid pieces of flat plywood or metal. In general, this refers to those shields larger than 15-20" in circumference. The diminutive term used for shield smaller than than this a buckler. Shields usually also have a convex shape to them. Shields are frequently painted or otherwise decorated with the arms of the individual bearing the shield or of their home group or household.

The phrase "living shield" refers to a fighter or group of fighters used to cordon off an area of the list-field.

Types of shields

There are many different types of shield used in SCA Armored combat, the names vary largely by time period and place.

Regulating Shield Size

In the past, The MidRealm has tried any number of calculations to make the size of shields "fair." These attempts often centered around making the shield propotional to the size of the user. In addition to formulas that required pen, paper and a calculator, fighters were asked to preform a number of tests to determine if a shield was too big, including:

  • Straddle your shield; longest dimension cannot exceed ground to crotch
  • Press shield edge to your chest, longest dimension cannot exceed the reach of your fingertips
  • Hold shield to chest, longest dimension cannot exceed the length from chin to crotch

In the recent past, all such tests where abandoned in favor of a common sense approach, which has resulted in a wide range of sizes and shapes. See cheater heater. Often this standard is referred to as shields that are not "offensive to the Crown."

Regulating Shield Weight

As with shield sizes, there were attempts in the past to regulate the weight of shields for fairness; so that a fighter with a lightwieght aluminum shield did not have an unfair advantage over a fighter using a wooden or steel shield. As with shield sizes, this rule was dropped from the Middle Kingdom rules as being impractical.

See also Shield Herald

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