Siege Weapon Rules
Society Siege Rules
will govern all Siege activity at Pennsic 41 unless otherwise stated below.
Siege Ammunition Damage
- Blows from siege-class ammunition (1-pound rocks, 4-tennis-ball clusters, and 48-inch ballista bolts all of which are colored yellow) will be judged fatal upon striking any legal target area and will kill through shields. If a hand weapon is hit by siege-class munitions the wielder is considered dead.
- Siege Munitions are considered spent upon striking a weapon, a fighter, the ground, or a battlefield structure. Only the first fighter hit is dead.
- Small Arms Munitions (single tennis balls and tube-shafted combat archery arrows and bolts) fired from a siege engine will be treated as combat archery projectiles.
Siege Engine and Structure Inspection
- Siege inspection will take place on the battlefield during the middle weekend.
Please reference the Battlefield Schedule for dates and times.
- Inspections will not be conducted during war week except on Missile Day
(the day of the Woods Battle - Thurs. Aug 9)
Get your engines and structures inspected early, so that if you have a problem you will have time to get it fixed and re-inspected
What to Expect During Inspection
- Preliminary inspection of the engine shall be made before any shots are fired. This inspection will be to check for structural integrity of the components of the engine. This structural inspection will be done according to specifications published in the Society rules.
- The operational demonstration phase of the inspection shall, at minimum, consist of 4 shots in a row without mechanical failure from the engine when configured for the maximum power it will use on the battlefield. These 4 shots shall deliver the ammunition between 40 and 80 yards (36.6 to 73.2 meters). The siege engine shall consistently deliver the ammunition in a reasonably straight and stable path downrange (curving due to cross wind is acceptable).
- Static inspection for stability of the engine, mechanical observation of the framework and the mechanism shall be made after the firing.
- The crews of direct fire engines should be willing to receive a shot from their engine at minimum range, while in armor, should it be requested.
Siege Tower and other Structure Inspection
- Inspection will include at a minimum; structural integrity, stability, condition of hardware, condition of any safety devices
(barriers, walls, etc.). Inspection will ideally be made with a maximum load of armored combatants on board the siege structure.
Inspection will include a demonstration of mobility if the structure is designed to be mobile. (Please refer to Society Siege rules
for approved Structure Construction.)
- If you are planning to bring a siege structure, make sure that the Siege MIC has a clue about it, so you do not bring it
miles and miles and then find out it will not be allowed. I really don’t wish to cause hard feelings.
All weapons must now abide by the half inch rule. They may not penetrate a face grill by more than a half inch. Ballista bolt fins must use pipe insulation or techniques that abide by this rule.
- All missiles must be inspected for that day's use and be so marked with the color of the day.
- Your siege ammunition will be inspected when your siege engine is inspected. You can also have your siege ammunition inspected at marshal’s point if there is a siege marshal there. Check postings at Inspection Point for specific times. Siege ammunition inspection will also take place on the battlefield immediately after a siege battle.
- All Siege Ammunition must be labeled with the owner's name, group and Kingdom in English on the shaft. If a group owns ammunition, then you may use the group's name and Kingdom.
- After each battle that uses siege ammunition, the bolts, rocks, and other approved siege projectiles will be re-inspected for the next day’s battle and marked with that color of that day. Please help glean the field and bring all siege missiles to a designated spot to be re-inspected.
- Siege ammunition inspections at Inspection Point will cease 45 minutes prior to the posted start time of any battle.
When a Hold is Called
All Holds will be general holds for siege engines unless a scenario specifically designates local holds for siege.
An engine may not be loaded during a Hold and any missile must be removed from the engine until "Lay On!" is called. If a ballista is cranking the string back it must be safely returned to a non-cocked state. For engines that can stop the cranking at any point (such as with use of a ratchet) they are to stop once Hold is called and not resume until "Lay On" has been called. The crew of an engine shall not fire its ammunition once a Hold has been called. Violation will result in both the engine and crews removal from the battle.
- All fighters are engaged with siege engines at all times during a battle no matter which way they are facing.
- Direct fire engines shall not be discharged against personnel within a range of thirty feet or in such a manner as to willfully allow the projectile to leave the Battle Area Proper or land in designated Unsafe Zones.
- No engine will be discharged while any non-crew person is within a 5 foot range of moving parts. Larger safety zones may be designated where necessary.
Destroying Siege Engines and Structures
The proper way to destroy these weapons is to safely approach the engine or structure, lay your weapon on it, and declare "this weapon is destroyed" (as with a declared kill from behind). This shall be done in a safe and deliberate manner, not in a rush while engaged with another opponent. Siege engine crews are to be treated as any other fighter on the field. If they are authorized for armored combat and have a secondary weapon, they may use it. If not, they may be killed as an unarmed or helpless opponent; if they yield, do not strike them. Active combat should not take place within 5 feet of an active siege engine. If this situation arises, a hold should be called and the engine declared destroyed.
Siege engines may also be destroyed by 3 hits from a ballista bolt, 3 hits from a four-tennis-ball rock, or 1 hit from a one pound rock. Siege towers are only destroyed by 3 hits from a one pound rock.
- Siege crews are classified as full contact combatants and therefore should be armored and prepared to take a reasonable hit and yield safely as per the SCA Marshal’s Handbook. Siege personnel may choose to leave the engine and fight if they wish. Remember, if the number of crewmembers at the engine goes below the minimum number required for that class machine, it may not be operated.
- Crew members wishing to defend an engine may do so as long as all action takes place over 5 feet from the engine.
- Anyone crewing an engine in combat situations must be an authorized siege engineer.
Pennsic War is an annual event between
the East and Middle Kingdoms of the
Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc
and takes place within
the Kingdom of Æthelmearc
at Coopers' Lake Campground
Webhosting services are generously donated by Panix.com
(Public Access Networks Corporation).
The Pennsic War event staff thank Panix for their continued support of the SCA and the Pennsic War.
This is the recognized web site for the Pennsic War of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Pennsicwar.org was designed by and is maintained by Mistress Jessa d'Avondale (Marla Lecin).
This site may contain electronic versions of the group's governing documents. Any discrepancies between the electronic version of any information on
this site and the printed version that is available from the originating office will be decided in favor of the printed version. For information on using
photographs, articles, or artwork from this web site, please contact the Webminister, who will assist you
in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors.
Copyright ©2013 Pennsic War. The original contributors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.
The photo on this page is used by permission of Thorolfr inn smithr.
Most of the illuminations used on this site are from the Manesse Codex.