ARMS & ARMOUR
Armour is Our Thing!
Because we are a chivalric community, the SSG enjoys a long history of expertise with arms medieval armour, its manufacture and fighting in it. An armourer with experience back to 1981, Dr. Price wrote "the bible" of armourers, Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction, back in 2000. We focus on the era of the Hundred Years War, from 1337-1451 as our core, and we strongly encourage our combatants to equip themselves authentically for competition in feats of arms community, within the SCA or ACL.
While our beginners still acquire a reinforced fencing mask, gambeson/fencing jacket, and Lacrosse or plastic gauntlets, the goal remains to encourage intermediates and advanced combatants to fight in armour, using their choice of plastic composite or rebated steel weapons. Today there are hundreds of armourers operating in Eastern Europe (especially Ukraine), Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, the United States and Canada.
After all, looking cool is part of the game, and we've been told that "chicks dig swords."
GETTING INTO KIT (Fast!)
What to Acquire First
Most SSG groups encourage their zugadore (novices) to begin with a "soft" training sword, either a Revival Martial Arts poly longsword (light and inexpensive) or one of the Rawlings longswords.
A reinforced mask, like those by Absolute Fencing, is currently a pretty standard beginner choice.
Hand and body choices are usually defined locally; either a gambeson or jacket; Lacrosse or plastic gauntlets depending upon whether your group emphasizes medieval-style feats of arms or HEMA-style tournaments. Many of us still believe that medieval-style footwear dramatically changes how combatants move, and these are strongly encouraged by groups with a feats-of-arms focus.
And at the other end of the spectrum...
Not all of our combatants arm up completely, but it can be an exceptionally rewarding journey to finally assemble armour you make or commission. In recent years armourers in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe have added their efforts to the market, and it is now possible, with careful selection, to end up with an amazing harness like the one below. And we'll help!
The harness below was commissioned by Dr. Price for a forthcoming book on poleaxe technique.