WW to Feature Japanese Battle

Warriors and Warlords, Northshield's signature event, will feature a Japanese battle, conducted in the style of classical Samurai warriors.

Neil Gilmore writes:

This battle is to simulate a Japanese battle of the classical form. Rather than the massed armies of the late period, such battles centered around individual challenges and clan tactics. Each participant is considered to be of samurai rank, and shall accouter and conduct themselves appropriately. Each participant is to choose their clan (Taira or Minamoto) prior to the battle. This is fitting as WW's theme this year is War of the Roses.


  1. Armour must be Japanese in style.
    Prior to the battle, Viscount Raito and any he designates will inspect armour for the proper level of protection and style. Note that, because we are few, that no restrictions will be placed on the time period of the armour (modern armours allowed, even though the format is classical).
    Specifically disallowed are:
    • Visible modern footwear.
    • Kabuto lacking shikoro.
    • Visible full elbows and knees are disallowed.
    Kabuto are allowed to have barred faces, but see 'As Armoured' below. Visible gauntlets are allowed. Unarmoured-looking armours are disallowed. This is a combat between nobles, not peasants.
  2. Weapons must be Japanese in style.
    Prior to the battle, Viscount Raito and any he designates will inspect weapons for the proper style. All swords must be single edged, with or without point. Sword guard must be appropriate to the time and place. Shields are not allowed in any form (even fans). Please note that the tetsubo is currently illegal in Northshield. Required for each combatant: Tachi (2 hand sword, single edged) Either wakizashi or tanto or yoroi-toshi (See Taking heads below).- Specifically allowed: Combat archery with bow only (no crossbows). As well, the combatant must be able to switch from archery to melee combat. One may not take a head with a half-gauntlet. Spears Polearms of Japanese type Two weapon fighting is not allowed.
  3. As armoured. Though blow calibration is SCA standard, we will be using an 'as armoured' standard for blow effects.
    • Any blow which lands on the face area of a fighter using a barred face kabuto counts as a kill.
    • Any blow which lands on an unarmoured portion of the fighter counts as a wound or kill, according to SCA rules. We're all at last minor nobility here. Hidden armour counts as unarmoured. If you want to have unarmoured areas on your person, have the grace to call what lands there.
    • Any blow which lands on a visibly armoured portion of the fighter does not count. In order to prevent the sort of irregularity that we might have with this rule vs. SCA norm, the blow should still be called out, but not taken. See 'taking heads'.
    • Mail kote count as armour. Padded ones don't. Take care if you wear padded kote with some plates to call blows correctly.
  4. Taking heads.
    Conditions under which one's head may be taken:
    • One is struck with a weapon three times in an engagement. If one is struck less than 3 times, and the engagement ends, then the count is reset. Again, we're all noblility here, and know what an engagement is.
    • One touches the ground with any part of the body other than the soles of one's feet, excepting a hand picking up a weapon from the ground.
    • One has been killed.
      • To clarify, wounding blows do not count against the 3 blows. Bad enough that you get wounded. Besides, a head may be taken from a dead man, if he still had a head, that is. The dead are responsible for telling the living whether their head has been taken or not.
      • When one's head may be taken, one must stand still on the field.
      • To take another's head, one must draw their wakizashi or yoroi-toshi, and drop (or sheath) their other weapons (it takes both hands to take a head, even though only one has a weapon -- the other hand holds the head). Then they must touch the other's head and say, "I take your head". They may then re-arm themselves and continue combat. The one whose head is taken is then dead.
      • If the one who may take your head becomes otherwise engaged, your head may no longer be taken by him, and you are free to continue.
  5. Archery
    Arrow count as a wound or a kill only if they strike an unarmoured portion of the body, or a barred-face kabuto. However, if one is struck 10 times by arrows, one must retire from the field to have one's retainers pull the arrows from one's armour. One may then re-enter combat. Note that this is not 10 arrows in an engagement, but 10 arrows at any time.
  6. Other rules
    • The battle shall begin with the Taira at the end of the field closest to the marshall's pavilion, the Minamoto at the opposite end near the woods.
    • The battle shall continue until only members of one clan are standing upon the field.
    • Any participant may retire from the field and return at any time. However, if they have retired from the field such that only persons of the other clan remain, then the battle is lost for them.
    • Dead shall remain on the field for the duration of the battle.