Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Twelfth Year

Field Maneuvers (West Vs. Atenveldt War) -- Kingdom of Atenvedt
February 18-20, 1978

From The Page (February, 1978):

The Grand Army of the Kingdom of the West, commanded by the fierce, noble, and most Honorable Duke William of Hoghton, will engage in a military exercise (WAR!) with the First Expeditionary Forces of the Kingdom of Atenveldt, commanded by that most glorious and greatly feared warrior, the Honorable Duke Deaton Claymore.

The opportunity exists for the first (and quite probably the last) time for all fighters in the Kingdom of the West to stand together in one Grand Army of the West, and oppose the forces of Atenveldt and Meridies (aided by mercenaries from the East and Middle).

EVERY FIGHTER IS NEEDED if the West is to put on a creditable showing.

Come and experience the excitement of the New Pennsice Wars. Relive the "Charge of the Seven" -- only this time with ten times as many (without the need to travel to the wilds of the East or Middle).

Nor are fighters alone needed. Every skill of ALL the Western Subjects can be exercised -- both on the spot, and ahead of time. Archers, song writers, poets, image makers, banner makers, water boys and girls, camp followers: each has a place and a job to do.

Forces shall begin arriving on Friday evening, February 17, wtih all fun and nastiness to begin early -- and we do mean early -- Saturday morning. His omnivorosity, Count Sir Monster Master, Prince of the Principality of the Sun, and his ever-loyal, armed-to-the-eyeballs Knight Marshall, Master Ioseph of Locksley, have conspired -- and with a little help from the Federal Government, have discovered an excellent site. It is located midway between Kingman and Wickenburg, Arizona, on Arizona State Highway 93. According to these two notables, the view (sight of the site) alone is worth the journey.

This event shall take place February 18 through 20, 1978, at the above-described Burro Creek Campground. It will be at the bottom of Burro Creek Canyon, where there is a lot of running water for weighting down bodies in. The Bureau of Land Management has been kind enough to provide us with complete facilities (including running water and flush euphemisms!). It is an incredibly beautiful and remarkably clean site: let us remember SCA traditions.

The Autocrats suggest that you come prepared for fighting, revelling, night fighting tactics, snooping and pooping, fighting seminars, wenching, Mongol baiting (a traditional Aten pastime), Creative Lechery, Mongol bathing (if we can catch one and the creek will tolerate it), more fighting, more revelling, and -- oh, yes -- the Great and Glorious Field Maneuvers! (Or: Kindly take your foot off my naginata!)

Look for a special visit from that great sea-farer Christopher Cincinnati, the Admirial who first sighted Caid off the coast of Meridies, and did indeed claim it for Atenveldt.

It looks like a great opportunity to further cement good relations between neighboring Kingdoms, and a fine chance to gain further experience in the gentle and chivalrous medieval art of War.

For more information, please get in touch with Duke William of Hoghton (contact info omitted), or Count Sir Denis of the Titans (contact info omitted). For registrations, please get in touch with Duke William.

From The Page (April, 1978):

The Grand Army of the West Kingdom engaged and defeated the Expeditionary Forces of Atenveldt in the first two meetings of the "Field Maneuvers". The first -- and probably last -- appearance of the Grand Army of the West Kingdom (after June 3, AS XIII, Caid will be a Kingdom in its own right) was marked by the experience gained in two revolts, an invasion, and the Pennsic War observations. Although not quite rivalling those traditional get-togethers between East and Middle for size, it was unsurpassed in excitement, enthusiasm, and the sheer thrill of being involved with many good people.

Westerners arriving Friday night and Saturday morning were greeted by such Atenveldt notables as King Koris Natterhelm and Queen Leah Kasmira, Duke Deaton Claymore and Duchess Care Cheri, Prince Dennis of the Titans, and many others, and encampments were established a short distance apart -- which did not prevent an increasing amount of fraternization and joint revelry, which became more evident as the weekend progressed.

Saturday was spent in fighting with mixed West/Aten co-commanders and participants, in order to observe one another's fighting style and standards, and to promote inter-Kingdom comraderies. Duke Paul of Bellatrix gave a fighting seminar in the afternoon for all who wished to participate.

Sunday morning, the two armies, in roughly equal numbers (more than 70 on each side), gathered in a dry creek bed at some distance apart, and after a final meeting between commanders and last-minute settlement on conventions, the two forces moved toward each other in deadly earnest. After much position jockeying, a fierce engagement took place between the main battle forces. The fighting raged with teh advantage and initiative passing back and forth until the West committed its final reserve (which, until that moment, had been engaged in meeting a flanking envelopment by an Aten attack group), turning the tide of battle to our advantage for the final time, and a combined assault along the entire line rolled over the Atenveldt front line.

Scoring the battle was simple and primitive. One side or the other would die to the last man. The Western command was aided greatly by the signals from the top of cliffs overlooking the battle field, which continued until the Observation Post was captured by an Aten warrior sent for that purpose. A break was then taken, after which the armies again formed, with Atenveldt defending an embankment in a widespread semi-circle.

The West closed in, and with holding forces on the flanks, concentrated its main attack at a point near the center of the line. Suddenly, the center of the Aten forces charged down the hillside in a suicide sortie; the center of the Western forces moved back to let them through, and then depleted their ranks with minor damage to our army. Letting attrition take its toll, the Western forces charged up the hill, and rolled over their opposite numbers. Then they reorganized to attack the remaining Atenveldt fighters from the rear, catching them between our lines. (We have heard the comment that "It was Hastings all over again ..." -- Ed.) The battle concluded with single combat between Duke Paul of Bellatrix and Prince Heinrich der Jager of the Outlands, and then with Prince Heinrich's squire, who attacked and fell after his master's death.

The only direct engagements between the two Kingdoms concluded, additional mixed fighting took place until late in the afternoon. This included the Human/Inhuman Melee -- Inhumans consisted of Monsters and Dwarves of Atenveldt; they fought against Humans (any who deemed themselves human).

Sunday night Atenveldt hosted a free beer revel, and preparations to return to our various homes (some a thousand miles away) were sadly begun. The sadness was tempered by the knowledge that all would be doing it again soon (it is hoped), and would be renewing the friendships that started that weekend. It was a time that 150 fighters, and over 50 non-combatant supporters, would never forget. -- Rogar Grey Wolf, Correspondent

See video of this war

Photo Album

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).