Missile Weapon Combat Rules

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Missiles in Viking Battles at VikeFest 2022

The Vikings use a wide range of missile weapons in all free fights and scripted fights. Any member on the battlefield will have undergone extensive training and been tested for safety and competency with their weapon. Only participants who have passed the appropriate assessments will be allowed to use missile weapons on the battlefield.

Many guest warriors may not have faced missile weapons in battles, but these form an integral part of our events. This page aims to explain the Viking missile rules to ensure that all warriors on the field understand and appreciate missile combat, which will be part of the Vike Fest event.

For further details on Missile combat at VikeFest, consult the Guest Missile Info for VikeFest

The Bow in Battles

All bows have a maximum draw weight to 35lb at 28” (15.9 kg @ 71 cm). They are longbows made of a single or laminated stave of Northern European wood. Arrows typically have 4 full and untrimmed flights of at least 4.5” each (11.5 cm) – all glued and bound onto the arrow shaft. The arrow blunts will be made of rubber and be supplied by an approved manufacturer. Blunts will never be fitted over broken or pointed shafts, nor any form of sharp head. SHARP ARROWS ARE ONLY TO BE USED IN THE ARCHERY COMPETITION OR AS PROPS IN LH FOR THIS EVENT. NO SHARP ARROWS MAY EVER BE STORED OR CARRIED IN THE SAME QUIVER AS BLUNTS.

The Sling in Battles

Slings are hand held string slings, some made entirely of string, some incorporating a cup of leather of fabric. Ammo is made from a small bag of soft material, typically dried marrowfat peas, which is wound in insulating tape to resemble rocks – usually grey, black or brown. A coloured band may be applied to identify the owner. The sling bullet usually weights around 2 oz (56 g) up to a maximum weight of 3 oz (85 g). SLING BULLETS MUST NOT BE PICKED UP AND THROWN. SLING BULLETS MAY ONLY BE USED BY QUALIFIED SLINGERS.

Javelins in Battles

There are two types of javelins, metal javelins and rubber headed Javelins. Only rubber headed javelins may be used in competitive combat to score a valid hit (please see below for details on Metal javelins). Rubber headed (Combat) Javelins are short, light spears between 4’ and 4.6’ (122 cm to 137 cm). The head is supplied by approved manufacturer Cappa-Pie and is typically grey’ish in colour and leaf shaped – some users may paint their javelins to more close resemble “the real thing”. In competitive combat only the trained Javelineers may use these Javelins to score a valid hit. JAVELINS MAY NOT BE PICKED UP AND THROWN BY ANYONE OTHER THAN THOSE VERY FEW WARRIORS, WHO HAVE PASSED THE APPROPRIATE COMBAT JAVELINEER ASSESSMENT OF THE VIKINGS.

Missile Displays at VikeFest 2022

Bows and slings will be used as part of missile displays at Vikefest 2022, using the above specifications. Blunt ammunition will be used at all times. NO SHARP ARROWS SHOULD BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE BATTLEFIELD OR DISPLAY RANGE. In addition, staff slings may be used for displays with a much greater range and larger ammunition.

Javelins in Missile Displays

In a scripted battle phase display javelineers may throw a volley of rubber javelins as the armies close. This is a display element and the rules of javelin combat apply. Metal Javelins are also sometimes used in displays, or in display phases of the battle. The metal javelin may be slightly longer than the rubber Javelin. Metal Javelins are short spears between 4’ and 5.6’ (122 cm to 167 cm). The metal blade length is between 2” and 4” (5 cm to 10 cm). These Javelins are used in scripted skirmish displays or static missile displays. The Metal Headed Javelins are NOT used in free fights at Vike Fest. The Javelineer will make eye contact and seek approval from their “victim” before launching, so this javelin will not be thrown at anyone who is unfamiliar with it. It is a (wonderful) display weapon – it will never be used to score a valid hit. THESE JAVELINS MAY NOT BE PICKED UP AND USED AS SPEARS.

The Crossbow in Missile Displays

The Crossbow may be shown in a missile Display. It sits outside the period that we are portraying at Vike Fest and, as such, will not be on the battle field. In any Missiles Display our crossbows have a maximum draw weight of 35 lb (15.8 kg). The prod is made of wood, single or laminated. Bolts may have 3 or 2 flights, which may be trimmed, shaped or left untrimmed and can be made from feather flights or leather vanes. The blunts will be made of rubber and be supplied by an approved manufacturer. Blunts will never be fitted over broken or pointed shafts, nor any form of sharp head.


Guest Participation in Missile Displays

If a guest wishes to take part in our missile display please contact the Missiles Thegn in advance of the event to discuss rules, safety assessment and equipment specifications. We cannot accommodate guest missile users at the event if this has not been arranged in advance.

General Points

The Vikings police the safety and authenticity at events through sets of Officers called Recognised Training Thegns (RTT-M) for Missiles and Armourers for the authenticity of weapons. These officers will be indicated at VikeFest by a red armband. Their job is to ensure that all participants enjoy a safe, authentic and fun event. Issues should be first settled between the warriors involved (but never on the field), otherwise report any safety issues to your group leader and then to The Viking’s officers. In the event of a serious incident, officers have whistles they will blow – if you hear a whistle, pull back to your start line and await orders to continue. Combat must only take place in the approved areas during the event. These will be clearly identified.

The Vikings reserved the right to remove anyone from combat training or displays if they are considered unsafe.

How to Receive Missiles in the Battle

Missile combat is part of the competitive combat at Vike Fest.

When part taking in any free fight or scripted fight at Vike Fest you must wear a helmet – at all times.

If wielding a shield, aim any incoming missile toward the ground. The shield should be angled slightly downwards and the warrior must not swipe or punch out at an incoming missile. Never deflect incoming missile upwards or to the side. Always remain vigilant of “dead bodies” on the ground around you when you receive missiles.

If you are not using a shield it is advisable to work with shield warriors around you as any missile user will have you on their radar.

It is not permitted to pick up and throw any missile by anyone other than the qualified missile user.

Missile hits count the same as any valid weapon hit. If you are struck by an arrow, a sling bullet or a rubber javelin in the target zone, you are wounded and must count to ten, if you are struck again by another missile strike or a valid hit by any other weapon, then you are dead, please react accordingly.


The target zone for all weapons is the body and upper legs above the knee. The head and arms are not a target. No thrusts are allowed to the legs by any melee weapon. However a hit by a missile projectile to the legs IS A VALID HIT. Anyone delivering a strike to the head or neck will immediate remove themselves from the fight usually by dropping to the floor as if dead. They may allow their opponent to deliver a finishing blow, but this is not required. However, arrows, bolts and bullets loosed in high angle lob are permitted to hit the head or neck (banned area) or shoulders, and should be reacted to as a Valid Hit. Should a sling bullet, released using the under arm action, strike a banned area in open combat then the slinger should react, as if he had received a valid hit, and take a ten count.

Further details on the rules for missiles can be found on the Society pages on Missile Combat

Further details on the rules for melee combat at Vikefest can be found on the page on Melee Weapon Combat Rules .

Safety Equipment

Helmets must be worn by all participants. Missile using warriors who will enter into melee are also required to use padded gloves. Helmets must be authentic types if visible, but can be of modern materials in hidden under and authentic hat. Armguards are recommended but these should not be visible. Other types of modern armour are optional, including knee and elbow pads, fencing cups for women and boxes for men, but must be hidden under authentic clothing.

Contact for Questions on Missile Weapons

  • Maiken Bagley (mlbagley[at]btinternet.com The Vikings Missile Officer

or contacted via Facebook Group - Battle of 1000 Spears Vikefest 2022

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