Proposed Siege rules for Pennsic 39

Proposed Siege Rules for Pennsic 39

These rules will not become official until they are posted on the Marshal's site at

Before then, they will be reviewed by the Earl Marshals and other affected parties.

Please send any comments to

Siege Weapon Rules

Greetings from Lord Richard le Hauke, East Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Siege and Pennsic 39 Siege Weapons Marshal in Charge

Official siege activity at Pennsic 39 will be limited to the main battlefield. In case of disputes, the Pennsic 39 Marshal in Charge will make the final call. Society siege rules will be used for governing all siege activities unless otherwise stated below.

For the battles in which siege will take place, please see the Battlefield Schedule.

A time for late inspections, target competition, siege duels, and siege authorization classes is planned. It will be on the battlefield on the same day as the woods battle. See the class schedule for the siege related classes.


All Siege Marshals shall wear the standard black Marshal Tabard with staff, and at least SCA required personal protection of goggles, although a helmet is prefered, in battles that have missiles. If you are going to marshal in armor a tabard over the armor and helmet with drape is required. Please be at Marshals Point 45 minutes prior to any battle you will be marshaling. All meetings for siege marshals will be posted at Inspection Point.


There may be changes to scenarios, rules, and schedules; these will be posted at Inspection Point.

Siege Ammunition Damage

    1. 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. Hand weapons hit by siege-class munitions are destroyed; anyone intentionally blocking or deflecting siege-class munitions with a weapon may be declared dead by the marshals.

    2. Siege Munitions are considered spent upon striking a weapon, a fighter, the ground, or a battlefield structure. Only the first fighter hit is dead.

    3. 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 towards the end of the first week. Please reference the Battlefield Schedule for dates and times. Get your engines and structures inspected early, so if you have a problem you will have time to get it fixed and re-inspected. Inspections will not be conducted during war week except on missle activity day, if one is scheduled.

What to Expect During Inspection


    1. Preliminary inspection of the engine shall be made before any shots are fired. This inspection should be to check for structural integrity and safety of the components of the engine. This structural and safety inspection will be done according to specifications published in the Society rules.

    2. 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) at a firing angle of 40-45 degrees for indirect fire engines. The maximum range for a direct firing engines will be 70 yards when firing at an angle of between 40 and 45 degrees elevation.The siege engine shall consistently deliver the ammunition in a reasonably straight and stable path downrange (curving due to cross wind is acceptable).

    3. Static inspection for stability of the engine, mechanical observation of the framework and the mechanism shall be made after the firing.

    4. 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

    1. 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)

    2. 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. Thank you!

Ammunition Inspection

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 materials and techniques that abide by this rule.

    1. All missiles must be inspected for that day's use and be so marked with the color of the day.

    2. 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.

    3. It is strongly encouraged to get your ammunition inspected the day before a battle since showing up prior to the day's activities may result in insufficient time to have equipment inspected.

    4. 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.

    5. 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

    6. 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.

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.


    1. All fighters are engaged with siege engines at all times during a battle no matter which way they are facing.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

Crew Requirements

    1. 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.

    2. Crew members wishing to defend an engine may do so as long as all action takes place over 5 feet from the engine.

    3. Anyone crewing an engine in combat situations must be an authorized siege engineer.

Special Siege Items

If you wish to use any of these items, please speak with the Siege MIC the day prior to the battle in which you would like to use them.

This will give us enough time to inspect the items and ensure all parties understand their use. Depending on the item and the scenario, Their Royal Majesties, may need to approve their use.

    1. Castle Rocks

      1. The "Rock" is equivalent to a 50# Stone.

      2. The shape must be irregular and be at least 12 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches.

      3. The construction must be of open or closed cell foam, wrapped entirely in gray tape and may not exceed 32 ounces in weight.

      4. Rocks may be dropped by any fighter in at least SCA minimum armor

      5. The Rock may NOT be thrown. It must be dropped and may not be used unless the wall averages approximately 8 feet in actual height to the exterior ground level.

      6. The Rock is a SINGLE HIT, SINGLE KILL device.

      7. Rocks may not be gleaned, but may be recovered between battles.

      8. Expended Rocks have no further effect and are considered non-interactive debris for the duration of the battle.

      9. There is no limit on stockpiling Rocks.

    2. Battering Ram

      1. The "Ram" is equivalent to a 300 pound log with rope handles for carrying.

      2. The Ram should be made of 4 to 7, 3+ inch diameter closed cell foam "Pool Noodles" at least 4 but no more than 8 feet in length.

      3. It must be wrapped at both ends with Duct Tape and every 2 feet down its length.

      4. Rope handles should be placed at appropriate intervals for carrying and use. These handles should be long enough for easy gripping with armored hands, but short enough to reduce the risk of entanglement.

      5. The Ram must be manned by at least 4 soldiers and no more than 8. These soldiers may not hold weapons.

      6. Should the crew be reduced to less than 4 the Ram may not strike until the necessary substitutions can be made.

      7. The Ram must be backed off 3 feet between strikes.

      8. Four strikes forces the door

      9. Rams are not damaged by any weapons or missiles.

      10. Battering Rams may only be used against designated structures and not against people.

    1. Caltrops

      1. A Caltrop is a Area Denial Weapon made with 1-1/4 inch pipe insulation or other closed cell foam assembled with tape to make a trapezoidal assembly no more than 12 inches tall with no reinforcements.

      2. The profile for a Caltrop must be at least 6 inches tall. Tips must be yellow taped and designed not to penetrate face grills.

      3. Caltrops may be dispersed during set up by a siege engineer or may be dispersed via Class "A" Engine or siege engineer during Battle.

      4. Caltrops inflict a debilitating injury and a fighter stepping on one must "take a Leg" if stepping on one.

      5. A fighter may avoid or remove a Caltrop with an unencumbered hand. Caltrops are NOT thrown weapons.

      6. Caltrops may not be repositioned by the dispersing side.

    1. Villes

      1. Villes represent spear type pickets carried by soldiers that may be assembled as improvised battlements.

      2. Villes are made of 2 to 4 inch diameter pool noodles tipped with yellow tape representing thrusting tips with the body wrapped in tape, preferably brown, for stiffness. They must be at least 5 feet long.

      3. Villes do the same damage as a spear if a fighter runs into them.

      4. They may be assembled with tape to make "jacks" as individual obstacles.

      5. They may be assembled as a picketed fence by joining them together.

      6. Villes obstacles must be placed BEFORE a battle as agreed per scenario. They may not be re-positioned by the same side or reused by the opposing side.

      7. Villes may be removed by designated Sappers with one free hand. Sappers may only remove villes and may not fight during the removal.

      8. Removed villes are removed from combat.

      9. Villes may not be used for any other purpose and are not hand held weapons or throwing weapons.

    1. Boiling/Flaming Oil

      1. The oil is represented by a mass of open or closed cell foam in irregular chunks dispersed from a bucket or barrel.

      2. The chunks must be at least 2 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches.

      3. The construction must be of open or closed cell foam and be wrapped entirely in red or orange tape and may not exceed 4 ounces in weight each.

      4. The dispersing container may be of 1 to 35 gallon size, but may not be dropped with the “Oil”.

      5. Oil may be dropped by any fighter in SCA minimum Armor, but containers over 5 Gallon size must be manned by 2 individuals.

      6. The Oil is a SINGLE HIT, SINGLE KILL device.

      7. Oil may not be gleaned, but may be recovered during Battles.

      8. Expended Oil has no further effect and is considered non-interactive debris for the duration of the Battle.

      9. Oil blown back on a pourer is fatal.