Siege Weapons

Gulf Wars XXI – Siege Rules
I. SCA Siege Engine Criteria

There are two types of siege devices: the active siege weapon and the passive siege structure. For the purposes of this document, and to avoid confusion, siege engines shall be defined as those designed to deliver missiles larger than the already established small arms ammunition. Siege structures will be defined as devices such as towers or ramps that are used to support personnel but are not fitted with active weaponry.

Siege engines will be broken down into two categories. Type-A engines are designed to deliver large ammunition to a range between 40 and 80 yards. Type-A engines can use all approved ammunition classes. Type-B engines are designed to deliver ammunition larger than small arms ammunition to a range between 40 and 80 yards. Type-B engines may not use anything above small siege ammunition. For the purposes of administration, any device not designed to deliver these types of ammunition will not be considered a siege engine. All engines shall have a maximum range of 80 yards. This is especially important in direct-fire weapons, where range in excess of this often results in safety concerns involving extreme minimum-range impact.

II. General Siege Engine Regulations

1) Engines and their projectiles shall be inspected by a warranted Siege Marshal before being used at that event and after any modifications are made to the engine during the course of an event.

2) Direct fire engines shall not be discharged against personnel within a range of 30 feet.

3) No engine will be discharged while any non–crew person is within 5 feet of the travel path of moving parts (e.g. a trebuchet will not be discharged while a fighter is standing anywhere in the path of the arm, front or back.). Nor the Sling length of a Trebuchet or Onager based on such plus 5′. “Sling Length” is the OVERALL length of the Sling while fully extended not just while both ends are attached.”

4) Engines must be equipped with a safety device sufficient to prevent accidental firing if they are to be relocated while braced. Any engine without such device shall only be relocated while unbraced.

5) Except for man powered trebuchets, all siege engines will be fitted with an appropriate
mechanical trigger mechanism that shall be used with every shot.

6)    Cannons or any replica of cannons are not allowed in SCA combat. Engines may not use compressed or ignited gases or liquids or combustible materials of any kind to power projectiles.
7)    Builders should attempt to visually and functionally recreate period siege engines. Engines shall be powered in a manner functionally consistent with their period counterparts based on both Safety and general appearance. When period power methods are unsafe, or not feasible, alternative sources of power may be used.
Any material approved for use in devices on the battlefield may be used in the construction of engines, provided the materials are sufficient to assure the safety of the engine. For safety, the following materials have special requirements:

a) Turnbuckles and eyebolts. When used in or attached to the source of power for an    engine, these items shall be rated to withstand 150% of the forces produced (e.g., if the cable attached to a turnbuckle will support 100 pounds of tension, the turnbuckle will be rated at 150 pounds static load). Hardware store and home center hardware is often of low quality and rating.

b) Steel cable. While steel cable is useful for such functions as safe-tying a throwing arm, it will not be used as a bowstring for any type of siege engine.

c) All softwoods and non-laminated hardwoods. When used as the throwing arm for a catapult, trebuchet, or the bow arms of a torsion ballista, they shall be secured against breakage with a minimum of glue-soaked sisal or jute cord wrapping (2-inch wraps every 6 inches) over a section of rope glued along the full length of the arm. This will keep the arm from leaving the engine should it break. It is strongly recommended that all arms be wrapped in this manner, regardless of material used.

9) Siege Engines shall not have any bolts, or other projections, (which may reasonably be expected to contact a person should they fall on the engine,) extend more than 1/2″ (1.3cm) into a legal face grill. Any items such as this must be covered with sufficient rigid material, a Tennis Ball, or a suitable rubber stopper, to prevent them from entering a legal face grill more than 1/2″ (1.3cm). {triggers, release hooks, or other firing mechanism components, that would not normally be in a position that could cause injury should someone accidentally fall on the engine, are exempt from this}

10) Engines (while they should not be struck with hand weapons) shall be sufficiently strong enough to survive the rigors of combat, and could withstand either being struck with a full force blow, or being run into by a combatant.

11) All engines must be free standing and may not use an operator as part of their support structure. Operators will not be included in measuring the footprint of an engine.

12) All engines and ammunition will be labeled with the name of owner, group, and kingdom, for the purpose of identification

Type-A engines will:
1) Have a minimum footprint of 18 square feet.

2) Be able to deliver a large siege missile at least 40 yards.

3) Have a mechanical cocking device, such as a winch or windlass. These engines may not be cocked by hand.

4) Have a minimum crew of three people. Should crew size fall below minimum, the engine will not be operational.

5) Be able to fire one large siege projectile, or up to five small siege projectiles, or from two to twenty small arms projectiles, per shot.

Type-B engines will:
1) Have a minimum footprint of 12 square feet.

2) Be able to deliver a small siege missile at least 40 yards.

3) Have a mechanical cocking device, such as a winch or windlass. These engines may not be cocked by hand.

4) Have a minimum crew of two people. Should crew size fall below minimum, the engine will not be operational.

5) Be able to fire one small siege projectile, or from two to four small arms projectiles, per shot.

Man powered engines will be considered Type-B engines and must meet the requirements stated, with the exception that they shall not be required to have a mechanical release or cocking device.

These engines may fire up to two small siege projectiles, or from two to eight small arms projectiles per shot.

III. Siege Ammunition Standards

1) No siege engine ammunition may exceed 1 pound in weight.

2) Siege Class Munitions must be colored with yellow tape in the following manners to denote them as Siege Class Munitions. Ballista Bolts must have their shafts and striking surface covered completely with yellow tape, and Rocks (both the 4 tennis ball and the 1 pound foam) must have at least 50% of their surface covered with yellow tape. These munitions may not be fired from small arms or thrown by hand.

IV. Siege Ammunition Specifications

1) Large siege ammunition is intended to simulate large, heavy projectiles normally used as anti structure missiles (e.g., 250-pound sandstone rocks used in the largest of engines).

a) One-pound rocks. These will be constructed of fabric spheres filled with light-density foam, taped with filament and duct tape for protection. These shall not exceed 1 pound. They shall be a minimum of 6 1/2 inches in diameter.

2) Small siege ammunition is intended to simulate smaller, lighter projectiles used as light anti structure and antipersonnel missiles (e.g., ballista javelins and 10-pound stones as used in Perriers). No small siege ammunition may weigh more than 1 pound.

a) Four-tennis-ball clusters secured with filament tape and duct tape.

b) Ballista Javelins (bolts) must have a shaft made from Siloflex or similar equivalent material. Must have a tip made with at least 3″ (7.6cm) of resilient material between the end of the shaft and the striking surface, be at least 2.5″ (6.4cm) in diameter, and have at least 1″ (2,5 cm) of progressive give without bottoming on the shaft. Additionally the end of the shaft that the tip is secured to, must be capped with a minimum of 1/8″ (4mm) thick heavy leather, a 35mm film container, (or similar item) securely fastened with filament tape. The tip shall be secured to the shaft with filament tape that completely covers the foam, then covered with yellow tape. The back end of the javelin (bolt) may have a short (less than 2″ (5.1cm) in length) piece of PVC pipe (or other similar non-brittle, non metallic, light weight material), that is securely attached to reinforce this area. They must be stable in flight or have fletching made from flexible material to make it stable in flight. Javelins (bolts) must be at least 48″ (122 cm) in length and clearly marked with yellow tape. No part of the Javelin can enter a legal helm more than ½ inches.

3) Specialty siege ammunition is intended to simulate specialty ammunition (e.g., flaming oil pots or flaming javelins) or effect weapons (e.g., diseased animal corpses or the heads of decapitated messengers). Specialty missiles will have damage determined in the scenario rules. Most effect weapons will have little or no damage potential, and therefore should be used sparingly. Specialty siege ammunition may be used as long as it does not exceed the weight or construction limitations of the approved ammunitions and conforms to the Scenario. Specialty siege ammunition must be approved by the siege marshal in charge.

V. Siege Ammunition Damage

Siege-class ammunition (1-pound rocks, 4-tennis-ball clusters, and 48-inch-long ballista javelins) will be capable of killing upon striking any legal target area and will be capable of killing through shields, provided that the scenario rules permit this. Hand weapons hit by siege-class munitions will be destroyed; anyone Intentionally blocking or deflecting siege-class munitions will be considered killed. Small arms munitions fired from a siege engine will be treated as combat archery projectiles. Siege munitions are considered spent upon striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure. Siege class munitions, which strike a tree, will not be considered spent until striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure. Small siege ammunition will also be capable (in addition to the above) of damaging or destroying light structures such as other siege engines, pavices, siege towers, etc., provided scenario rules permit this. Large siege ammunition will also be capable (in addition to all of the above) of damaging or destroying any type of structure such as castle walls, towers, redoubts, etc., providing scenario rules permit this.

VI. Siege structures will

1) Be able to support 300 pounds for every 4 square feet of platform area.

2) Siege structures that have a platform, must have a base such that it’s width and depth are equal to or greater than 80% of the platform height. The platform may not be larger than the base, and may not extend past the base footprint in any direction. Structures that have a platform height of over 9 feet (2.74 meters) from standing surface to ground, may not have a platform that exceeds 75% of the base dimensions. (IE a tower that has a platform height of 10 feet (3.05 meters) must have a base that is no less than 8 feet (2.43 meters) in either direction, additionally the platform dimensions may not exceed 75% of the base dimensions (an 8′ X 8′ base {2.43M X 2.43M} could only have a 6′ X 6′ {1.83M X 1.83M} platform).

3)Be equipped with railings or walls at least 36 inches tall and able to support 100 pounds per foot of railing length if the platform is more than 3 feet from the ground. Be structurally stable (e.g., a wheeled siege tower should have a base big enough and wheels large enough to safely carry crew over the terrain of the field).

4) Siege Structures may not be made from industrial scaffolding, as it is not designed for the applications in which SCA combat operates.

VII. Miscellaneous Items ( Battering  Rams)

DEVICE: 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 as the item is individual color is not important.

3) It must be warped 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.

1) The Ram must be manned by at least 4 soldiers and no more than 8. These soldiers may not carry weapons or Shields but may be accompanied by others to both shield them and fight.

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

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

4) 8 strikes with a 4-foot Ram forces the door. The same with only 4 Strikes for an 8-foot Ram.

5) Rams are not damaged by any weapons or missiles.

6) Strikes are cumulative and the count continues if the Ram is re-crewed.

7) Battering Rams may only be used against approved Siege Structures and may never be used against People for any reason.

Please Read The Following Some Things Have Changed

VIII.   Siege Activities
Engines will be inspected and open practice will be at the following times:
Monday ->  9am – 12pm / Siege Point
Tuesday -> 9am – 2pm / Siege Point (Will halt during Opening Ceremonies)
Wednesday -> 9am -12pm / Siege Point
Thursday- 9am – 12pm / Siege Point
Friday- 9am – 12pm / Siege Point
Other Siege-related activities:
Monday ->  8pm – till / Cocktails and Siege / Green Dragon
Wednesday -> 12:30pm – 1:30pm / Siege Engineer’s Lunch and Social @ Siege Point
Wednesday ->  2pm – Done / Siege Target Competition @ Siege Point
Friday ->  8pm – till / Cocktails and Siege – The Good and the Bad – How to make it better / Green Dragon

InDirect fire Engines will have to pass a physical inspection.
1.    Shoot between 40 and 80 yards.
2.    The pojectile must leave the machine between 40 and 45 degrees.

If the engine is to be left unattended, it must be locked in a safe state.  A safe state is defined as the following:
1.  The engine being in a condition that does not energy is stored.
2.  The string and triggers must be removed and stored away from the engine.

Direct fire Engines will have to pass a physical inspection.
1.    Shoot between 40 and 80 yards at a 45 degree angle.
2.    Will have to have a crew member shot at the distance of 30 feet.

If the engine is to be left unattended, it must be locked in a safe state.  A safe state is defind as the following:
1.  The engine being in a condition that does not energy is stored.
2.    The string and triggers must be removed and stored away from the engine.

***   This year with the exception of the Ravine battle, any battle that combat archery is allowed, SIEGE is allowed!
This means Bridge, Open Field, and Fort battles!
The other exception is in the MOAB on Saturday – Siege is allowing in the first three battles only.***