May 8th, 2007

Norfolke Trayned Bandes

Prepare to give fire... give fire!

So, first muster of the season at Lulworth. Got fire a musket lots and managed to avoid blowing myself or anyone else up and didn't set fire to myself any more than anyone else did.

Not a good start as what started off as a quiet Friday afternoon turned into a bit of a mad rush and subsequent late departure due to someone in US not realising it was a public holiday here on Monday and needing something urgently. Hence, picked up colonel_maxim and Kate late. In addition, a glitch by the GPS meant we ended up taking a rather slow stretch which coincidentally passed through Kate's hometown (key learning - plot out a route on the road atlas as well before starting out)!

As well as being first muster of the season, Lulworth was also a big 30th anniversary reunion for Norfolke Trayned Bandes. I was wondering if I might be a little lost as the FNG but everyone proved terribly friendly. Also nice to see a lot of the NTB guys I'd met when I first started airsofting but who had dropped out of regular re-enacting by the time I got round to giving it a try.

Main thing was making use of my new black powder license to try musket, thanks to the loan of a matchlock from Simon. I was fortunate enough to be taken through the drill by a chap who wrote drill books based on historical texts (and an ex-Army chap to boot!), did my 10 shots under instruction and was all set to take to the field. Bloody Hell, that was fun. Lots of loud bangs, certainly a lot less predictable than the M-16 (had a couple of hangfires on the first day, one of which prompted another musketeer to comment that "Holy crap!" probably wasn't historically accurate!) and lots of hot sparky bits flying about - my jacket already has a smattering of burn marks.

I was actually seriously torn about whether to do pike or musket on the second day - I did miss the thuggery of a pike press too but decided I should give musket a full weekend. Unfortunately, I am still torn between the two. Next muster, I'll probably do a day of each. My dallying with musket did prompt the good Colonel to start questioning my masculinity, including the wonderful accusation that I'd be fencing foil next!

Don't know... musket is definitely fun, Hell, it's a gun, loud bangs, something new, interesting technical exercise but I think pike definitely gets the adrenaline going more. Still, at least I now have the option of either. I can certainly see that at events like Kelmarsh 2005 which were point rather than press of pike (i.e. no thuggery, just pointing pikes at each other and going "Grr!" a bit) then no question - musket will be more fun. Still not convinced I'm ready to splash out on a musket yet (matchlock or flintlock - much advocacy by users of both!)

Heh. Maybe I should take up that invite from that chap in Hazzard's Trayne of Artillery to give that a try too. Really not sure I'm ready for cavalry or dragoons though...
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