Greetings Northshield from your Griffin General.
This month I’d like to address preparing for Melee. When preparing for melee, one should think of their equipment. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my helm allow me to breath and see?
- Breathing is a HUGE plus when fighting melee
- In some Pennsic scenarios, you can have your helm on for over 2 hours.
- Seeing…vision…being able to see from the sides, directly in front of you, up and down below are good things. It’s very easy to get blind sided in a melee – if possible, choose a helmet that gives you full range of motion and allows you to see what’s going on around you. I guarantee, that blind spot is where they’ll come from to hit you!
- Does my armor allow me to run, fall and get up at full speed?
- Choosing your armor or setting it up specifically to fight melee is not a bad idea. It will increase your endurance and time on the field, and give you a definite speed advantage.
- Wear armor that allows you full range of motion.
- Lightweight as possible, while still maintaining adequate protection. (a lot of this is contingent upon your pain tolerance level – what’s good for you may be different from your neighbor)
- Remember you’ll be receiving blows from spears and pole arms – take that into account when choosing the style of armor you want to wear.
- Weapons selection – light as possible – BUT – good enough to hit with a higher impact than in a tourney scenario. Fighters during melee have a lot more to deal with, so generally it takes more force to get the blow acknowledgement. Keep in mind that you will carry this weapon all day long and hopefully will be swinging it repeatedly!
- Suggestions for armor would include leather – if you can afford it, plastic – as long as it’s covered. I would not suggest wearing period boots in a melee – you need traction, but also having large individuals stepping on your feet is not fun (take it from someone that’s experienced this). Combat boots or cleats (football cleats) work very well and give you excellent traction. Combat boots and high top football cleats allow you the ankle protection. These can be easily covered with leather or cloth to make them look like period boots. Trust me, if they see you wearing Nikes…they will give you crap about it!
- Aluminum shields are a joy to have. They are lightweight and can take blows while giving you protection. Try not to weigh your shield down with too much weight – remember you have to carry this thing all day long.
Not wanting to take up too much room… Your next Northwatch will continue with more questions you should be asking yourself!
Keep practicing – practice makes us invincible and builds endurance and character!
Sir Leif Haakonson
General of the Great Griffin Army