Getting to Know the Army of Calontir

Written by HL Richard deBleys. Originally appearing in the Online Bird of Prey, Vol 9, 2003

In order to maintain a good fighting unit in Calontir, there are some basic pieces of information that everyone who plans to support the army may want to know. The very first thing of note is that the army is more than just fighters, much more. We in Calontir have the honor of being supported by the best water bearers, soup kitchen, and accessory personnel that an army could every hope for. Without those groups, the fighters are truly just that, not a true army. What I would like to convey in this missive is the importance and function of the various groups within our army, that when combined as a whole, make us the presence we are, recognized throughout the entire known world.

I will breakdown the army into three categories: Support Personnel; Fighters; and Command Structure. Much of what is written here is already known by most of the army; please keep in mind that this is written from my perspective, as more seasoned members of the army, as well as my own experiences have explained things to me from several wars past. The important thing to remember is that everyone who wishes, may wear the kingdom tabards or colors, fighter or not, we are all one army, and in support of Calontir.

SUPPORT PERSONNEL

Support personnel are what really make Calontir so unique in my opinion. After having built friendships with fighters from other kingdoms, and comparing notes as to what happens when we get off the field, the Calontir soup kitchen is viewed as the envy of the known world. In addition, when they see our water bearers walking around with dried fruits, beef jerky, pickles, and sometimes popcicles, in addition to the normal water and gator-aid, other kingdoms are left aghast. Even all of this does not include the people who volunteer their time and energies to help get our fighters to the field by use of their vehicles, wagons, or just their hands to help carry equipment, along with their voices at muster to sing and march with us.

Water Bearers

What Do They Do?

The water bearers in their most basic sense are the people who bring water and gator-aid to the fighters, to ensure everyone stays properly hydrated and refreshed. Without the water bearers, fighters time on the field would be severely limited, and exhaustion would quickly end a days fighting. In addition to the liquids, our water bearers also tend to keep a stash of other items on hand including regular and dried fruits, beef jerky, pickles, and sometimes popsicles when it is possible. They also will sometimes have available cool towels for the back of necks, and misting set-ups. I know all of this sounds like pure luxury for a fighters convenience, but it is what makes our water bearers so especially great, and has led to them being titled Angels of the Battlefield more than once. We won’t even mention all the marriage proposals I have heard after a particularly well-timed visit.

Who Can Be One?

Anyone who wishes to support the army can be a water bearer. We have had every type of person of both genders, and ages from young child to older adult, all water bearing to the best of their ability. Many of the water bearers enjoy watching the battles from the sidelines, and being right in the middle of the conversations after fighting or even on the field during prolonged holds. As a safety requirement the water bearer should be able to understand basic field calls, such as “Hold” which means “Stop”; as well as calls for a Chiurgen, a medically trained person; and marshals calls of “Water Bearers Out”, this means that the fighting is about to commence again at the call of “Lay On”.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

I have yet to meet a fighter unhappy to see water bearers – please keep in mind that not everyone likes having water poured or sprayed on them while others love it, simply asking reveals the fighters preference.  To those who decide to water bear, or even fighters who water bear instead of fight for what ever reason; I would like to personally offer my thanks for services performed in the past and those sure to come. My appreciation is not alone, to that end I would like to remind everyone that the water bearers have earned a place in our Kingdom forever, and have earned the first ever Falcons Heart, an award highly acclaimed for a groups service to the Kingdom. In addition they have earned the title of 4th Company on the field, a reminder to all that they are a highly esteemed part of our army which we value as much as, or more than the fighters themselves.

The Soup Kitchen

What Do They Do?

The Soup Kitchen is run by a group of people who are interested in supporting the army, specifically by feeding it. After a long hard day of fighting it is a huge comfort and motivator to know that back in camp there are people who have made chicken noodle soup, and are ready to serve it up to the army when they return from the field. What typically happens when fighting ends, is that the army musters on the field; we receive comments from the general and / or the royalty present on the day’s events. We then march back to camp, yet again singing, mostly dragging our gear now, worn from the day; only to find that there has been a busy crew of folks, sometimes the support personnel who helped drag gear to the field that morning, or some of the water bearers, that have made the Royal Pavilion ready to receive a tired army. As a typical there is soup, more jerky, fighter biscuits, fruits, sweets, and sometimes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After a long day baking in the sun it is amazingly refreshing to relax with some foodstuffs, and swap stories about the days activities.

Who Can Be One?

As with water bearing, anyone who wishes to help with the soup kitchen is certainly welcome. Again all age gaps and genders are erased in this arena, as any help or service is that much that another did not have to do. Even if you feel you can only wash the soup pot when it is empty, that is such an incredible help, because keep in mind at this point it is late in the day, everyone is tired and that is a detail level that is usually the least looked forward too because it is symbolic of everything being completed for the day, and many folks just dislike doing dishes. I have seen young people go off and wash the pot, and come back to huge thanks for what seems a small task on the surface, trust me all appreciate it.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

The soup kitchen is more than just about food, it is the common spot for camaraderie, and relaxation. It is the best place to hear different perspectives on actions of the day, and an excellent place to discuss events for the evening, as well as muster times and events for the next day. As for the appreciation, the soup kitchen has deservedly received the second, and to my knowledge the last Falcons Heart Award. It seemed only appropriate that the water bearers received theirs on the field, and the soup kitchen received theirs following that days fighting back in camp. If ever anyone ever says that the soup kitchen staff is not part of our army, they are in for a huge wave of counters, and should be prepared to take a lot of heat, because the soup kitchen is very much a driving force for us, and very much part of our army.

Chirurgeon’s

What Do They Do?

Chirurgeon’s are the folks that patch us up if ever the need should arise. They supply bandages, and any type of medical assistance that people may need. Many times the assistance they give is simply the suggestions of “You should really get that to the hospital” or “It does not look bad, just don’t pick at it” or the statement “I do not know how bad it really is. It is your decision to go to the hospital or not.”  They not only administer to the fighters but the populace as a whole.

Who Can Be One?

Chirurgeon’s require some special training in the sense that this is a position where a basic grasp of first aid, or how to treat basic injuries is essential. Often times people who are in the medical profession in real life are drawn to the role of a Chiurgen in our society because it brings not only a level of professional knowledge to the role, but it makes people more apt to approach them for assistance.  However, anyone who wishes to be one can go thru the training that other experienced persons will lay out. There is a formal process, and one should inquire to an already qualified Chiurgen for specifics on how to be one.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

Just like all of us in the SCA, these folks are participating in their hobby. We are all responsible for our actions, and health, please do not burden these people with random complaints. When a formal visit with a Chirurgeon is made, there is paper work to be filled out, as to the nature of the visit. Some people take this role very seriously, and some may over react to a situation, depending on the amount of training and exposure they have had to SCA style injuries; others are just over reactive style personalities. Some Chiurgens may not take the injury seriously enough. The biggest thing to keep in mind, is that you are responsible for yourself, use your judgment in relation to how you want to be treated, or not treated.

Other Support Persons

What Do They Do?

The other support people I refer to here are those folks who assist the army in whatever other way they can. Many of those people will help carry gear to or from the field; they will help the water bearers or soup kitchen. If they are not able to make it to war, they send useful items, such as foodstuffs, or commission equipment such as scutums, or they help defer excess costs of items. All of these things are incredibly helpful, and very much appreciated.

Who Can Be One?

As with the other support areas, nobody will be turned away from helping. The only thing needed is a desire to assist the army in whatever way is deemed necessary, and then follow through with the plan.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

This group of supporters, like the others are all people volunteering their time and efforts. Many of them are not fighters, just people interested in helping in what ever way they can. Many of the people we see in this support role are also water bearers, or soup kitchen helpers, or both. To them I again wish to share my thanks and adoration.

FIGHTERS

Fighters are the most obvious reason for why there is an army standing in the middle of a barren field on a scorching day. Many people in our society have gotten involved, just for the ability to hit people with sticks, and not get in trouble for it; it is not my intent to recite the Rules of the List here, but anyone wishing to participate in these activities should familiarize themselves with them. SCA style fighting is unlike most other martial activities in the world, it combines endurance, as well as large and fine motor skills, coupled with tactical thinking, team unity blended with individual effort, communication, and most of all individual personal honor. Without honor on the field, there would be no point in any of us playing this game; and without the honor off the field, many people would be driven from the society with no interest in returning. Please remember that if you fight, you are entering a contract of trust with all of the other fighters. You are stating that you trust when they are struck a good blow they will acknowledge it, and that when you are struck a good blow, you also will demonstrate on your honor the acknowledgement of the shot. There are times when a shot will be delivered by you that is questionable as to whether or not it was sufficient for the other fighter to acknowledge; give their honor the benefit of the doubt, perhaps something was caught weird, or what felt good was really blocked somewhere along the line, or perhaps the force level was not sufficient. In all of these cases, keep your honor and sense of fair play in mind, talk to them about your opinion in a reasonable manner. After all if an opponent says no to a shot, the worse case scenario is that you get to keep fighting; and if there is regularly a repeated problem, remember it is their honor questioned not yours. If you receive a shot that you believe is questionable, immediately discuss it with your opponent. Sometimes in large melees this is not feasible, in those cases do the best you can, but by all means never deny a good shot you receive just because someone else did, your biggest victory on the field will always be in keeping your honor intact no matter what else happens.

With all of this having been said, I would now like to move into a discussion of the various levels of fighting within Calontir. In our Kingdom, we have an award system that acts as a hierarchy ladder, it is not done this way to belittle anyone, rather it is to help foster improvement and use as an outward sign the level of skill on the field shown. There are essentially five divisions of fighters within Calontir; they are Unauthorized Fighters, Man at Arms, The Fyrd, The Hirth, and The Chivalry. I will deal with each area separately. In addition, I will address Archers individually as a category, even though there are archers from every category mentioned above.

Archers

What Do They Do?

The Archers of Calontir are the people who pick up bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, and stand in the heat of the day shooting not only for their enjoyment, but also for the honor of Calontir. At every war, there are points awarded for skill on the archery list, and we have many gifted Archers who go to these shoots to represent the Kingdom, off the heavy weapons field. It is important to note, the ranks of the Archers are recognized by the community, and have divisions of Saether Fyrd, and Saether Hirth within their ranks whether those individuals fight heavy weapons or not. These ranks are known to be excellent marksmen on the field, and to show all of the qualities of their heavy fighter brethren off the field. Although there is a difference of where an individual earned their award, it should be noted that the qualities of honor, courtesy, and behavior are no different, a Saether Hirth and an Iren Hirth are both Huscarls in our society, and as such reflect similar ideals both on and off their respective fields.

Just because an Archer prefers ranged weapons, does not mean that none of them fight heavy weapons, in fact there are many individuals who are dual Fyrd, or Hirth, thus they fight with both heavy weapons and shoot combat archery on the heavy list field. Many Combat Archers, when they run out of arrows, will pick up another weapon system and go directly into the thick of melee combat. Some may even put their bow down for the day and only fight heavy; it is strictly their choice. It should be noted that all Combat Archers in Calontir are heavy weapons authorized, and as such wear armor, and can be engaged in melee combat if they choose not to yield to an incoming opponent. More than once I have seen one of our Archers throw down their bow, draw a melee weapon, kill their attacker, only to pick up their bow and resume shooting.

Who Can Be One?

Anyone who can pull a bowstring or cock a crossbow can be an archery list Archer. Much to my delight I have seen many young people participating in shoots, and even better I have seen a true effort to organize children shoots at major events such as Lilies War.  In order to be a Combat Archer, you must be an authorized fighter, with an understanding of how to properly dispose of your bow if you wish to engage in melee. You will also become aware of how to build your own arrows, since we use golf tubes with a tennis ball attached to one end as our arrows on the field they shoot a little differently that wooden shafts with steel tips. Before you scoff too loudly, shoot one, hit something with one, and then giggle at just how much force a tube and ball can deliver.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

As with all martial skills, practice is required before anyone can truly claim a high level of competence.  If you begin shooting and realize you cannot hit the broad side of a barn (literally) then all that says is that more practice is needed. Some people have natural abilities that transfer well into ranged weapons, other just need to work harder. Remember to have fun, after all we are all here to enjoy ourselves, otherwise we would not be playing the game. On a serious note, please keep in mind that when shooting target archery, you are wielding a live weapon, able to seriously injure or kill someone if safety precautions are not followed.

Unauthorized Fighters

What Do They Do?

Technically, anyone who does not fight fits this category, but what I am referring to here are the people who have an interest in fighting, have been in loaner armor, and after some practice decided that they want to authorize and fight. So the real question many of you may be asking is, why include a group that is not yet really able to take the field. The answer to me seems obvious; these people are our future, all of us went through the growing pains of the desire to fight, but just lacked the skills or equipment to actually see it to fruition. These people are the ones at home all of us practice with, they are the ones learning shot and block mechanics, learning to move, how to read an opponent, and building the endurance needed to participate in larger more intense battles. I believe it is the role of every authorized fighter to help these people develop into a better fighter. Keep in mind their goal is to authorize.

Who Can Be One?

In order to fight, there are a few basic requirements. One is age, a fighter must be at least sixteen in order to begin fighting, and even then it is asked that the teens guardian witness what it is we are doing on the field, and then sign a waiver for their charge to be allowed to participate. Gender does not matter. However, finding armor that covers the critical minimum parts of the body does. These areas are the head, neck, kidneys, elbows, hands, groin, and knees. Before anyone takes the field they are inspected by marshals who are trained to check these areas for safety purposes, no matter how long the individual has been fighting, or their status in the society. Anyone can practice; in fact it is highly encouraged. Some groups even have sets of armor intended to be loaned out to people who wish to try out fighting to see if it is right for them. Many individuals have their own set of loaner gear for this purpose as well. If you truly have a desire to learn, just ask around someone is sure to help you.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

The unauthorized fighters of today can very easily be nurtured into the Chivalry of tomorrow. We all began with a desire, and all still carry our dream; to help a new fighter achieve a step toward that dream is to push us all further toward the goals of our society as a whole.

Man at Arms

What Do They Do?

A Man at Arms is the very first title bestowed on an authorized fighter. As soon as a fighter takes their first authorization of sword and shield, and passes, they have entered the ranks of this group. The Man at Arms category is the largest group of fighters in the Kingdom. They range from newly authorized fighters, to experienced fighters who have not yet crossed into the ranks of the Fyrd for any variety of reasons. Although they are the bulk of the forces assembled, we in Calontir do not use them as throwaway troops who go marching in a cluster to their doom. We have a tendency to team the Men at Arms with more experienced fighters for a few reasons. First and foremost, the only way to learn is to be told or shown what needs to happen, and in melee situations, the only way to do that is for them to be near some action. Typically a Man at Arms will be given direct statements, such as stay with this person, follow this direction, and so on. The reason again is not to belittle or show dominance, but rather teach them what tasks are needed, and get them used to the idea of melee situations. It is very confusing the first few times in large groups, and the only way to overcome it is by experience. After a while, they will be able to read opposing formations, and know from past history what needs to happen, or where to be in a line, or better yet, be able to inform others as to what needs to happen; this is a sure sign they are on their way to the ranks of the Fyrd.

Who Can Be One?

As stated above, anyone who meets the minimum age and armor standards can authorize as a fighter. As part of the authorization there will be marshals, some of which you may not know, watching and commenting on performance. There will be the question “Have you read the Rules of the List?”. This is a key question, because the Rules of the List are safety guidelines that every fighter should be familiar with. As for what is involved in authorizing, the new fighter will be watched for: how well they are able to defend themselves, throw shots, acknowledge hits, how they cope under pressure, and their overall field safety. It is not important to be a good fighter when authorizing, just a competent safe one.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

Once someone has authorized their first weapon system, sword and shield, the authorization includes: all shields and single hand weapons, including those with a thrust, as well as the ability to shoot combat archery. If it is your intent to shoot combat archery, it is vital that you understand the rulings on how to dispose of your bow in a tight melee situation, as well as the safety regulations involved.

The Fyrd

What Do They Do?

The Fyrd are the first acknowledged award after authorizing in Calontir. On the combat field, the Iren Fyrd are the sergeant level commanders who often are found at wars directing melee traffic, operating in small skirmish groups, and sometimes, acting as commander for the day for whoever the General may be. The Iren Fyrd are also the Queens personal guard, whenever Her Majesty opts to take the field, it is the privilege of the Fyrdmen to escort, and protect Her, along side Her champion. So that She is not unduly swamped with bodies, a single detachment of four, or five Fyrdmen is selected to be Her escorts on the field. The Saether Fyrd are the Archery List shooters, some of which do not fight, that make shooting their prime focus. It is their skill with bow that earns them the title, and they shoot for the Archery points, and honor of the Kingdom when they take the line.

Who Can Be One?

In order to qualify for the Saether Fyrd, the archer must show proficiency with one archery system, be an accomplished archer and show honor both on and off the field, all while promoting archery. In order to qualify for the Iren Fyrd, the fighter must: support the army of Calontir, they must be authorized and proficient in at least two systems, and show honor both on and off the field, while actively promoting fighting. Both of these awards are AoA level polling orders, with recommendations being filed from the order to Their Majesties.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

It is crucially important to note that just because someone meets the authorization requirements to fit the order, does not mean that they are automatically in. The comportment of the individual both on and off the field is taken into consideration; as is required by Kingdom Law; in order to properly evaluate the individual. Because of this, combined with the appropriate skill level required, there are some who have been fighting for a very long time that are not members of the orders. The reasons for this are many, and often subjective; for instance if there is an individual who is proficient with two weapon systems, but is frequently rude, hits excessively, or has a habit that some people just can not kill them no matter how hard they are hit; those traits will be discussed, and the individual will not be voted into the order. Support of the Army is vital for a number of reasons, it gives the fighter exposure to the way Calontir operates as a group, and helps to form the bond that keeps us all functioning on the field. It also allows members of the army to get to know an individual, so that when they are brought up in order meetings, people know who is being discussed.

The Hirth

What Do They Do?

The Hirth are the second acknowledged award after authorizing in Calontir. On the combat field, the Iren Hirth are the Commanders who often are found at wars as the Generals, and Group leaders taking charge of the Army. The Iren Hirth are also the Kings guard, and a group of them are often selected to escort His Majesty, along with his champion, whenever He decides to take the field. The Saether Hirth, are highly skilled archers who take the line to shoot for the Kingdom in war point and tournament situations.

Who Can Be One?

In order to qualify for the Saether Hirth, the archer must show proficiency with all archery systems, be a highly accomplished archer and show honor both on and off the field, all while promoting archery. In order to qualify for the Iren Hirth, the fighter must: support the army of Calontir, they must be authorized and highly skilled in all of the weapon systems, as well as show honor both on and off the field, while actively promoting fighting. Both of these awards are GoA level polling orders, with recommendations being filed from the order to Their Majesties. The ranks of the Hirth are filled from those members of the Fyrd who meet all other requirements.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

 It is crucially important to note that just because someone meets the authorization requirements to fit the order, does not mean that they are automatically in. The comportment of the individual both on and off the field is taken into consideration; as is required by Kingdom Law; in order to properly evaluate the individual. Not only the comportment but also, the highly skilled aspect is taken into consideration.  The members of the Hirth are consistently skilled in the weapon systems, and consistently supportive of the army as well as consistently honorable…. Consistency is the key.

The Chivalry

What Do They Do?

The Chivalry is the highest possible rank to be earned in our society. It is not unusual to find a member of Chivalry in charge of the army as the General. These fighters are chosen from the ranks of the Hirth, and as such already meet those requirements of being able to fight with any weapon system, but the Chivalry goes even a step further. The members of the Chivalry have an exceptional skill with any weapon system, and should show unquestioned honor both on and off the field. At wars, the Chivalry are not necessarily the ones in charge, but individuals are often asked if they would operate with specific units. The reason for this is simply, some kingdoms will respond more positively to a member of Chivalry, rather than an unbelted fighter who is in charge, like a Huscarl, or Fyrdman. In our kingdom, the Chivalry are typically quite willing to go along with any plan laid before them, no matter how unusual it may seem. Many times they will offer their opinion of the success rate, or even make a suggestion for an alternative, but if the original is still followed, they will go along with it allowing the plan generator a good education by results. This is not necessarily the case in other kingdoms, where Chivalry does not follow the orders of an unbelted fighter.

Who Can Be One?

The ranks of the Chivalry are chosen from the ranks of the Hirth. They look for those members who display exceptional skill at arms, and unquestioned honor at all times. The Chivalry is a polling order that discusses candidates, and votes on them before allowing a member to be made.  The order then begs a boon from Their Majesties and if granted calls the candidate forward. The candidate will sit a night on vigil, in contemplation, being visited by peers of the realm, and other guests who discuss what is involved in taking on the responsibilities of the order, and encouraging the individual to not take the task lightly. After vigil, at the following court, Their Majesties will again ask if the candidate wishes to become a member of the order, if it is a positive response, they will bestow the accolade on the individual.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

The Chivalry is the pinnacle of achievement for many fighters, and although many aspire to that goal, not all succeed. The Chivalry are known throughout the world by what they wear; a gold chain, a white belt or baldric, and spurs; these symbols of the position show everyone that the individual has achieved something great indeed. As a result of achieving this pinnacle, the Chivalry are expected to continue to display the highest level of courtesy, and chivalry possible to all.

COMMAND STRUCTURE

The Command Structure of Calontir is a little different than many of the other Kingdoms, but as in all, the King and Queen are the overall rulers of the army, and have the right and privilege to oversee, or over ride any decisions made by their commanders. Their Majesties appoint a General, who will command the army for a war season, and return the mantle back to Their Majesties when the specified time is up. Once a General is appointed, they select Unit Commanders, to run sections of the army or companies depending on the General; such groups are divided as main body commander, skirmisher commander, reserve commander, and so on. In the individual units, the plan will be communicated as to how each group is to perform, and what their jobs are. There are some specific formations used, and their proper coordination depends on all of the army working well together as a whole. As a difference in rank shown; a man at arms will be instructed where to be, and who to work with; a Fyrdman will typically be given a specific job, such as keeping a traffic lane open; a Huscarl will be given the option of assignments; and the chivalry will be asked if they have anything specific they want to do. The General will oversee all aspects of the combat, and ensure the army, as a whole is where it is needed. The General will also interface with other Kingdoms in cases of a multi-kingdom war, and co-ordinate our operation with those other units.

The General

What Do They Do?

The General of our army is appointed by Their Majesties, and as a result has the main voice to the rest of the army, and as a symbol of this, marches in front of our army with Their Majesties at musters carrying the Generals banner. The General will appoint people to drive sections of the army, either breaking it into companies with a company commander for each section, or breaking it into sections by function such as; main body, reserves, skirmishers, or flank control. These Unit Commanders will attend meetings as requested by the General to discuss strategy, and their units function, as well as to help determine the best use of tactics for specific battles.  Often, if a General is not already a member of Chivalry, they will appoint one as a lead role, this is due to the fact that some other kingdoms do not respond well to the input of unbelted fighters.

Who Can Be One?

The role of General is an appointed title from Their Majesties to someone they see fit to command the army. It is usually a member of Chivalry or a Huscarl.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

Although the General is either a member of Chivalry or a Huscarl, it is not unheard of for them to assign a member of the Fyrd to control the army for a specific battle, or for a day. It is important to note that the General is appointed as a position of respect, and Their Majesties could have chosen anyone in the kingdom to act in this position, their choice is a status in its own right, and as a result earns the respect of the entire army for faith in their leadership.

Main Body and Reserve Unit Commanders

What Do They Do?

The responsibility of Main Body Unit Commander and Reserve Unit Commander are much the same. The main body is comprised by the bulk of the forces of the army, and is comprised of all ranks of fighters from Man at Arms up to Chivalry. The Main Body typically moves slowly since it is so large, but has the most punch when it is actually time to fight, again because of size. It is not unusual to put 50% of the army in Main Body, and another 30% in the Reserve Unit. Upon impact with an opposing force, in a static battle, the Main Body will do the main fighting, and as they begin to loose members, they are fed replacements from the Reserves. In an active battle, the two units may act somewhat independently, but still travel together as one large unit, the difference being the conditions on the field. The main body will continue to move toward the objective, with the reserve following until a flank is identified as attacking, in which case a section of the reserves may turn to deny the flank, then join back up with main body.

Who Can Be One?

The role of a Unit Commander is appointed from the General, and is an excellent opportunity for the Fyrdmen to show their unit command prowess, and is usually a task given to individuals who have been in several melees, and can take orders, or give them as the need arises.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

Although the General is either a member of Chivalry or a Huscarl, that is often not the case for Unit Commanders, they are typically Huscarls or Fyrdmen. This having been said, there is usually a member of Chivalry who is “the designated belt” to deal with issues from other kingdoms that do not recognize unbelted fighters.

Skirmishers and Flank Control Commanders

What Do They Do?

The Skirmishers and the Flank Control, or dog packs, perform much of the same function, which is to intercept opposing forces quickly to allow the Main Body to catch up and deal with the opposition.  The Skirmishers typically operate out in front of the army, and are comprised of about 10% of the forces. They are fast moving and usually have 9foot spears, pole arms, and a few secondary shields to keep an enemy at bay by dueling, with them and not allowing the enemy to close distance quickly.  The same is true for the Dog Packs as well, except they are typically broken down into even smaller groups, operating beside, or behind the Main Body watching for specific breaks in the enemy formations that might cause our troops to be flanked. The Flank Control Dog Pack Unit then breaks out to intercept this attacking unit, if not dealt with they buy time for the Main Body or Reserve Unit to wheel around and deal with the flank attack.

Who Can Be One?

The role of a Skirmish Commander, or a Flank Control Commander is to select his people based on speed, and how well they operate with a small tight unit. This unit commander is selected by the General, but often with Packs, two or three individuals will be asked to put together a Flank unit to operate as a deny unit, or even an attack unit to force an enemy main body to turn while our main body moves in for the main assault.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

Anyone given command of one of these units should realize the importance of being fast, and the sometimes need to speed-bump an enemy force, many times at sacrifice of their own lives.  Of course it is better to complete the objective and join back with the main unit; however frequently this is not possible.

SUMMARY

 In conclusion, the army of Calontir is a group of people, who enjoy getting together and playing out in the sun, and striving for one goal, furthering the honor and respect of Calontir throughout the entire known world. Our fighters are there, supported by a myriad of other personnel, and operating under the direction of a command structure, all striving to make the most of our vacation time and provide enjoyment. The best way to see the army is to participate in it in some way, then stay for the evenings festivities, after all Calontir is know for their courtesy and hospitality not only on the field, but in the social life afterwards. I encourage all to pitch in, come play, and above all have fun supporting the army.

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