One of the most important activities of the Company is muster. The Trayn’d Bandes served as a militia force within a shire or county; in our case, the Southwark area outside of London. England did not have a standing Army and it was the Bandes that Elizabeth counted on to throw the Spanish back into the sea. It was deemed necessary that the various bandes units be trained, which included regular special musters for drill, examination of equipment and determination of manpower.
Martial activities are therefore often the focus of our events. Drill for pike, shot and other units, as well as rapier and archery practice and simulated combat scenarios are the order of the day. Keep in mind your persona’s class level, and don’t order any really fancy armor for a muster without checking with the Education Officer and Military Coordinator first. You are not expected to have military equipment to start and should feel free to borrow gear and try different roles in the Bandes to find what suits you.
Simulated combat is called skirmishing. Since many members and guests participate in SCA rapier combat, we use SCA heavy rapier and armor standards as our baseline. You are free to use more armor; any, if it isn’t visible (extra padding), or, period-correct if it will be seen (mail, plate, a jackcoat).
You are encouraged to speak to the Military Coordinator about arms and armor before making a purchase or construction. Something to remember is that in the Bandes, the armor you wear is proof against certain weapons, like arrows or swords. Specifics are given before each skirmish.
Drill is done with armor, including a helm (without any face protection). Skirmishing requires that face protection be worn. Fencing masks, with hoods, are allowed for simulated combat only. You are encouraged to acquire a helm at least for drill as soon as possible, and a rapier helm or face protection for your drill helmet soon after. Skirmishing can be punishing to clothing. It’s highly recommended that the new member acquire clothes specifically for fighting and save the nicer outfit for drinking and gambling.
Members adopting a male persona, who are physically able, are expected to take part in drill and skirmishing. While members often have equipment to lend, new members are expected to acquire the required items within the first year of membership.
Minimal Arms & Armor – required
(for all male personas)
sword w/ sheath (for drill)
belt hanger or baldric for sword
helm (appropriate to period)
covered fencing mask (for skirmishing only)
a 2nd suit to fight in
a 2nd shirt
jerkin/buff-coat/breast plate/other armor
helm with face protection (for skirmishing)