Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARPing

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Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARPing

Postby Peetiedog » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:58 am

Now that in the USA Thanksgiving has just past and at least I have thought about hitting specific people who were at the table with weapons, I have checked in with a few boarders to enlighten us all on both SCA, Boffer LARPing, and LARPing in general

VaMinion is experienced in Boffer LARPing and has agreed to answers questions. Knaight has agreed to answer questions within his experience in the weapon sparing, Ampguard, and some Boffer LARPing. Adicted2aa will answer questions from his experience with SCA. OrknessRising has LARPing experience and will answer questions.

These are the people I found on the profiles and referrals for the subject matter. There are very likely more. So if you have an expertise or experience please add to the discussion.

I would like to start out with an initial question about sparring and Boffer LARPing: I assume injuries are part of the hobby. How badly have you been injured or witnessed an injury? How much protection do you wear? Have you ever shown someone how to spar or Boffer just to smack them?

Regarding the LARPing side: What I treated you to participate the first time? And what keeps you coming back?

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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Knaight » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:42 am

On injuries and armor:

The amount of armor depends entirely on what you're using for weapons. I've done some fighting with the SCA, which involves a pretty heavy duty helmet, a gorget, heavy gloves, and some sort of torso protection at minimum - protecting knees is also useful, an athletic cup is generally a good idea, etc. If actual steel is in use, then full fledged proper armor is an absolute necessity. With anything padded, no armor is really required, though helmets of some sort are generally a good idea if head shots are allowed.

As for injuries, I've broken two fingers, one of them twice. One of these was a javelin hitting a finger tip, which pretty much nullified the padding. The other was an ax coming down on two finger tips. Generally these aren't a worry, but because I fight with a spear when possible my front hand can be more vulnerable than most people's when adjusting my grip.

On LARP:

I avoid LARPing; it gets in the way of the fighting. The closest I've come is very occasionally sparring with Amp people, when they're having some sort of event where they don't get into the whole LARP end of it. Generally I stick to dagorhir type stuff, with SCA type inserted where possible.

Essentially, the roleplaying holds no interest to me. I like the fighting.
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Addicted2aa » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:53 am

On my phone since the internet is down here so please forgive spelling and grammar errors.

To start with armor expanding on what Knaight said, the legal SCA per my understanding, is a 16 gauge mild steel helm or equivalent. Semi rigid neck protection, hardeden leather or even 3 or 4 layers of heavy leather should pass. Groin protection, unspecified, rigid knee and elbow protection, kidney protection equivalent to heavy leather belt.

Notice I said legal, not safe. I wear a 12 guage stainless helm, a thick hardened leather gorget as well as a mail aventail(hangs from the helmet and protects neck and shoulders) stainless steel spaulders(shoulder protection), splinted leather vambraces with aluminum elbow cops, a padded arming coat, a felt covered brigandine made of hard plastic, crash pad shorts, leather cruises(thigh protection) with mild steel knee cops and mild steel greaves(shin protection)

Worst injury I've seen? Guy popped his knee at a battle last week. Probably blew his ACL.

Worst injury I've had? Broken nose because I strapped and padded my helm wrong.

Have I ever shown someone how to spar just to smack them? Yes. The whole point of introducing new people to the hobby is having new friends to hit. However I've never just put someone in armor so I could use them as target practice. We do armor new people up their first day, but we show them the basics and no one fights them at any where near full capacity. We do hit them hard, just to make sure they know what they are getting into.
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby VaMinion » Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:56 am

How much protection do you wear?


There wasn't any required protection in the LARPs I played (2 boffer LARPs, one Mind's Eye Theatre). If I wear armor at all, I stick to light stuff that won't slow me down. Great for mobility and costuming, but not so great for protecting against accidents.

How badly have you been injured or witnessed an injury?


The worst I've seen: severe sprains, broken fingers, and one poor guy who ran into a barbed wire fence at full speed. The LARPs I was in were held in forests, fields, old farms, and local campgrounds, so there's a whole lot of interesting terrain to get yourself hurt on.

Worst I've experienced: probably the time I was backpedalling, tripped, and bounced my head off the corner of a stone brick grill. They thought I might have to go to the hospital for that one. The other one was the headshot that split open my eyebrow and almost knocked me into the campfire. Still have the scar from that one.

Have you ever shown someone how to spar or Boffer just to smack them?


Oh my yes. That's kind of the whole point.

What convinced you to participate the first time?


About 80% of my high school friends played the same LARP, so I didn't need much convincing. My parents, the other hand...well, let's just say they were really worried about the idea until they heard that my friend Greg was involved. Somehow that made it all okay despite the fact they'd never met him.

And what keeps you coming back?


Interesting question, because I've more or less stepped away from LARPing for now. I'd have to say my friends and roleplaying are what kept me involved. I can't get into sparring for its own sake, but strap an ongoing plotline to it and I'm a very happy man.

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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Burning » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:08 am

How formal are the fights? Are there judges or do you use the honor system?


Also: is there a movie or TV show that you think really gets sword combat right?
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby VaMinion » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:35 am

Burning wrote:How formal are the fights?


It varied. It could be two armies forming up and charging one another, or it could be ambushes along the trails. Basically once game on was called Friday night, you were in character and potentially a target for attack until Sunday morning.

Are there judges or do you use the honor system?


Most fights are handled done by an honor system. If I swing and hit you there are two responses:

1 - Grunt in pain, stagger back, check your charge, whatever. Roleplaying that you got hit, essentially. It's a way of acknowledging that you've taken the hit even if it didn't do any serious damage.

2 - Call a defensive stat. It could be a dodge, a resist, or the dreaded "No effect". All of these mean "I acknowlege I took the hit; here's a mechanical ability that lets me not take the effect". Generally speaking, PCs develop a good feel for how many defensive stats are realistic before we suspect the other guy's cheesing.

So if you don't react at all, something's fishy or you missed it. :)

Having said that though....the LARPs I played were like a tabletop game. You had a GM and supporting game staff, and they all took turns walking around OOC and watching/adjudicating the fights to both answer questions and keep people honest.

Also: is there a movie or TV show that you think really gets sword combat right?


Conquest is the only one I've ever liked, but that was kind of the point of the show. :lol:

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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Gyro LC » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:54 pm

What drew you to this style of combat organization/style rather than kendo? The armor is far cheaper, more comfortable, and shinais hurt a lot less.
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Addicted2aa » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:40 pm

Burning wrote:How formal are the fights? Are there judges or do you use the honor system?


Also: is there a movie or TV show that you think really gets sword combat right?

Still on phone. Talking SCA here

Fights at events are usually quite formal. For singles, A designated area is usually roped or fenced off, called a list, and you fight within it. There is usually an official tourney structure, sometimes with optional rules restricting weapon selection or fighting over a barrier.

For melee there are designated goals like taking and holding a position on the battle field or accumulating more kills than the other team in a resurrection battle.

There are also less formal pick up fights at practice and after the official tourney or battles.

There are no judges. Its completely honor based, the person struck determines if it was a good enough blow.

As for accurate TV or movie fights, I've never seen one.

Gyro LC wrote:What drew you to this style of combat organization/style rather than kendo? The armor is far cheaper, more comfortable, and shinais hurt a lot less.


Hurt less is actually a turn off for me. I enjoy combat that feels real. I also fight full force live steel so there is that.

As for why not kendo, I never found it near me or I would have probably tried it. I dont know much about the differences in the sport though to compare it.
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARP

Postby Knaight » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:47 pm

Gyro LC wrote:What drew you to this style of combat organization/style rather than kendo? The armor is far cheaper, more comfortable, and shinais hurt a lot less.

The big thing for me is that kendo is pretty restricted in what you do. It focuses pretty tightly on one on one duels with a particular type of sword which can only be used in a few ways. I favor spears, skirmishes with a few dozen people, fighting against a plethora of weapons and styles of fighting (though I'm entirely fine with fewer archers rather than more), and the sort of fighting that emerges from having fewer rules - you can't tackle someone to the ground and stab them with a knife in Kendo, you totally can in a lot of other circumstances.
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Re: Hitting people w/ sticks- SCA and Boffer LARPing, & LARPing

Postby Fridrik » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:12 am

Do any of you have any experience with Jugger or any other boffer sport ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jugger


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