Battle of the Nations 2012 - Review

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Battle of the Nations 2012 - Review

Postby brendan on Thu May 10, 2012 7:56 pm

This is my attempt to review Battle of the Nations for a reenactment/living history audience. As such it doesn't overly focus on the combat - I have other versions of this to do that!

Battle of the Nations is an amazing competitive combat event. My overall experience having attended was positive and I will strive to go there next year as a combatant. I met a lot of amazing people from many countries, heard and told some great stories as well as coming up with some new ones. What more could you ask for in an event?
But what was it like?
Ultimately this event is all about the fighters, more so than any other reenactment event I have taken part in, unless you count HEMA. Living history is present at some level but don’t go there expecting to see craft villages. You will see some encampments and good traders but the fighting is what you are there for.
The level and standard of authenticity is variable at present. The pre-event information suggested a very high level and a lot of people made that effort, however there was also a lot of stuff there that met the ‘6 yard rule’ and some of the armour was altered for function. But the target is high and it is likely that the standards will improve in the years ahead.
The location this year was Fort Bema outside Warsaw and it worked well. While I wasn’t at last year’s event I heard the journey time to the location was quite long. It also meant I could cop out and stay in a hotel.
The market was good with a lot of high quality and cheap goods from Ukrainian and Polish manufacturers. It was the sort of market where you could walk in one side a civilian and walk out the other armed and clothed.
The fighting was split into a number of categories – Individual champion and professional fights, teams of 5, 21 and 50 (There was no trophy for the 50 man team as it was made up of other groups). The 1:1 had combatants using longsword, sword and buckler, sword and shield. Pro fights had open weapon choices and options. In all fights it ran as a best out of 3 rounds. In the solo fights it was based on points scored whereas the group fights were based on number of fighters standing when the clock ran out. Seems simple but it isn’t. 5 Vs 5 fights were probably the most entertaining to watch, combining speed, tactics and fitness not to mention a fair amount of competitive fighting.
The organization of the event from a public perspective went very well. Food and sanitation were there, it was easy to find your way around the site and if you could understand it the commentary was continuous. It really could have done with a leader board or some other means of tracking progress as this was all obscured from public view.
From a participants perspective it was less perfect: Registration took up to 3 hours in a queue and the scheduling of fights was not well communicated so fighters were left in armour for a couple of hours at time waiting for an imminent fight. There was also some question as to the non-partisan nature of the refereeing decisions but that is probably something that will be resolved before next time.

On the whole it was an enjoyable event. Have a look at the videos on You Tube and ask some questions…
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Re: Battle of the Nations 2012 - Review

Postby Grey Wind on Thu May 10, 2012 8:17 pm

Sounds like an amazing event- I can definitely see myself travelling to cheer on an Irish team until my throat is sore :D
Thanks a million for posting this up, Brendan, would love to read a more combat oriented review as well.

By the sounds of it they've really captured a great tournament feel to it- the combat standards must be something to behold.
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- Henry II, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, 'Invincible' King of the English

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Re: Battle of the Nations 2012 - Review

Postby finnobreanan on Fri May 11, 2012 5:39 pm

Great report. Thanks Brendan.
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