If all that jostling and clashing in a shield wall seems a little on the energetic side,
why not try archery
It all started when two of us bought a couple of long bows at a re-enactors fair and started learning at the field. I'm sure most people have seen ''Robin Hood ,men in tights''. Yes that was us!! Neither of us had ever seen a long bow before let alone picked one up, so we asked another group close by for help.
The bows we use for battle re-enactment must be no more than 35lb draw. This is for safety reasons, as on the battle field our targets are live squidgy people. Archery is a fast-growing part of our group, we've grown from the two, to eleven, including five warrior archers. The arrows we use are called ''slow arrows'', they have four oversized flights and expanded blunt heads on the end (for obvious reasons).
There is also display archery, this has all the same disciplines as combat archery, but no live targets as we use a variety of sharp arrow heads that have been found in archaeological records and loose at inanimate targets. As with the combat there are safety tests and full training will be given.
During the dark ages, the main long-range infantry in a battle were the archers, loosing up to fifteen arrows in a minute. So if you can imagine being a Saxon, facing one hundred of William of Normandy's archers at the battle of Hastings and having fifteen hundred arrows raining down, you wouldn't stand much hope of surviving. If you did'nt get killed there's a good chance you would not last more than a week as the arrow heads will most probably have been dipped in animal dung or a corpse (dark age chemical warfare).
Archers at the battle of Hasting in 2006, 940 years after the original
Wryngwyrm Archery Captain
Furrowing the deep blue sea with oars, The Wyrm pursues to Jutlands shores, They met; and in the battle storm of clashing shields, full many a form of goodly warrior on the plain, Full many a corpse by Wryngwyrm slain.