11 June 2013

The Battle of Black Tower is upon us

| Barcham
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Canberra’s mightest warriors The Hundred Swords are holding another of their large scale foam sword battle events this weekend at Black Mountain Peninsula.

Fancy yourself as Thorin Oakenshield fighting the goblin and orc hordes? Then get on down to Black Mountain Peninsula this Saturday and join the valiant defenders in trying to turn back the green menace. Not even the Mad Monk can save you from this influx of undesirables.


Rules can be found here.

Picture by Neil Stork-Brett and Martyn Yang. Taken at The Henge, Sutton.

I’ve borne witness to the combat prowess these guys display, and I’ve been on the receiving end of it too. These events are a ton of fun as a spectator or a combatant so I highly recommend checking it out.

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VeryMildSuperPowers7:15 pm 11 Jun 13

Ah brilliant! You have my axe!

CanberraNerf12:56 pm 11 Jun 13

Here’s some rules for you all. Don’t be intimidated by them if you’re thinking about giving it a go – very little of it applies if its your first game or training session.


1.Foam sword fighting is not about aggression, it’s about skill.
2.A firm tap is all that is required for a legal tag. All strikes should be pulled and not made with full force.
3.Melee combat IS a contact sport, and this means you may take a harder than intended strike*.
4.Slashing, stabbing and thrusting is permitted.
5.Over head strikes are permitted as long as they are not aimed at an opponent’s head.
6.Shield bashing is not permitted. Shields are not to be used offensively.
7.Tags/Hits: The only areas which do not count as a tag are the hands, feet, groin, head and neck.
*This is why we enforce the safety and construction rules.


1.Eye Protection such as safety glasses. Sunglasses or prescription glasses are also suitable.
2.Groin protection (e.g. cricket box) for males; chest protection/padding for females.
3.Full or half face protection which covers the nose and teeth (e.g. Airsoft mask)
NOTE: If you are wearing a mask with eye mesh, you obviously won’t need safety glasses. Half face masks will require eye protection. IN ADDITION – if you are wearing a full metal helmet, you may still need to wear eye protection is the helmet is not adequately protecting your eyes.


1.All weapons will be foam/latex/prop weapons (see point 8 below)
2.Throwing weapons/short weapons: max length 45cms. This classification applies to daggers and throwing axes. MUST BE CORELESS.
3.One handed weapons: max length 115cms. This classification covers, swords, axes, maces, flails etc.
4.Two handed weapons: max length 185cms. This classification covers two handed swords, spears, pikes etc.
5.Shields. Round: max diameter of 75 cms; all other types 60 x 90 cms (See ‘Shield Construction and Safety’)
6.Bows/missile weapons are covered separately.
Example player fit outs:

?Shield and one handed weapon. Up to 3 back up short/throwing weapons.
?One handed weapon, with secondary one handed weapon NO LONGER than 85cm. This is the ONLY combination that can be ‘dual wielded’. Up to 3 back up short/throwing weapons.
?Two handed weapon. Up to 3 back up short/throwing weapons.
?Archer. Bow with 6 arrows, secondary weapon no longer than 85cms. Up to 3 back up short/throwing weapons.
?For any weapon/combo which is NOT a single 1 H sword, 1 H sword and shield, or dual wielding with 1 H swords and short offhand, YOU NEED TO DEMONSTRATE YOU CAN USE IT SAFELY. You can receive training from anyone who is already authorised with that weapon. When you feel you are ready to be authorised, request a Sergeant-At-Arms for authorisation. The Sergeant will observe while you fight under a variety of conditions. This will involve fighting with your weapon against a number of different weapon combinations, including 1-h sword and shield, 2-h sword, and spear. YOU CAN ONLY QUALIFY AT A TRAINING SESSION.
8. Weapons must be foam/latex/prop/LARP weapons. Recommended brands are:

?Forgotten Dreams
?Epic Armory
?Nerf N-Force (Marauder Sword, Battlemaster Mace, Warlock Axe)
?Eagle Flex
?Battle Legends (some of these need to be checked by a Game Marshall prior to use)
?Home made weapons/’boffers’ MUST BE FIBREGLASS CORED.
9. Short weapons such as daggers, and throwing weapons must be foam/latex and MUST BE CORELESS.


1.All player start with 3 ‘Health Points’ (HP). This means you can take 3 tags before you are ‘dead’.
2.One tag = one HP.
3.Every time you make a legal tag you must call out ‘Hit’ – if you take a tag you must call out the number of tags you have taken “One”, “Two” etc.
4.IF YOU HIT SOMEONE IN THE HEAD – *you* will take a 1 HP penalty.
5.It is each players responsibility to keep a track of their HP’s.
6.A player can increase their HP by wearing armour. For example:
?A helmet or full face/half face mask adds 1 HP
?A breastplate/leather jerkin/brigandine/padded tunic/any form of torso armour adds 2 HP
?Greaves and/or bracers adds 1 HP
?This would give a player a total of 7 HP if wearing all of the above.
6. Shields. Round: max diameter of 75 cms. All other types/shapes: 60 x 90 cms (approx/give or take a few cms).

7. Shields do NOT add HP, but they do block all attacks without a HP penalty.

8. Armour (this includes helmets, leg/arm protection etc) can be constructed out of ANY of the following materials:

?Metal plate
?Ring mail
?Any other legitimate material

ARCHERS Bows: Draw must not be higher than 28 lbs (pounds). Arrows: *LARP arrows only*. Use: 10 metre minimum target engagement distance at full draw, 5 metre minimum target engagement distance at half draw. To avoid head shots, it is preferable you aim at the midriff of your target. Archer load out: Bow, 6 x arrows, 1 x ‘short’ weapon (up to 85cms), 3 x throwing weapons (coreless, up to 45cms).

SAFE USE: Once the arrow is on the bow, that arrow must not rise above the horizontal plane. Bows are not be used against a shield wall, or in bridge or road battles. BOWS ARE ONLY TO BE USED IN OPEN SKIRMISH BATTLES. Throwing weapons are only to be used in battles i.e. not sparring or ‘Highlander’ type games.- Arrows cannot be blocked by swords due to safety/possible damage to the arrows.

– You can block throwing weapons with melee weapons, however unlikely. Deflected throwing weapons that hit someone else will cause damage as usual.


?Shields can be constructed of foam, latex, rubber, plastic or soft wood. If constructed of wood, hard plastic, rubber, foam the edges MUST BE covered in some type of soft padding. EDGES *MUST* BE PADDED.

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