Everything I Know About Business I Learned In The SCA: Part 1

Sir thus-and-such (hi, fellow lefty!) squaring off in single combat against a righty with insufficient butt armor. Ask me how I know. (Thanks to Adriaan.Wessels at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL] for the image.)


(If you’re a SCAdian, feel free to skip this part; or read on, if you want to learn my biases.)

Part 1: Lessons For The Grunt

Die Loud

When fighting in a group, if you die, die loud. “GOOD SHOT, M’LORD!” is a typical cry. This is both courteous to your opponent, and safer— it’s likely that if your opponent didn’t hear you die, they will hit you again, harder, presuming that you felt the first blow was insufficient.

See a gap, fill a gap

The shield wall above works great until gets penetrated. Charges, or unusually proficient spears, can poke a hole, letting the opposition flow through. Suddenly, attacks are coming at the Shields from all sides, and they quickly end up dead. This is why it’s crucial to step up when you see a gap forming — preferably before the opposition can. Even if that means a polearm jumping in to die horribly, that might be enough to mend the gap until reinforcements arrive.

Hear an order, repeat the order

In case you haven’t figured it out, communication is an important part of tactics. Battlefields are noisy: so when you hear a general order, it’s a good idea to repeat that order. Loudly. This lets others know what’s going on — and it’s a way to prevent conflicting orders from disrupting a group. If orders weren’t repeated, they might only be heard locally, and then some people would follow them, and some wouldn’t.

Regroup THEN re-engage

The opposition has broken through! What do we do?!

A Lesson For Another Day

That’s it for today: stay tuned for part two, “Lessons For The Squad Leader”, including such gems as “Skill matters — but so do numbers”.



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Alex Feinman

Alex Feinman

Obligate infovore. All posts made with 100% recycled electrons, sustainably crafted by artisanal artisans. He/him/his.