By Dede Kilic, Aneala

To give archers a chance to test their skills in archery against individual combatants, the Anealans developed a series of combat archery tourneys. These provide varying challenges and allow an archer to show their skill to the best advantage.

All of these archery tourneys can be run as a round robin or with one of the other related tournament formats such as double elimination.

Ship Boarding field diagram

Ship Boarding field diagram

Colour coding for field layouts

Field Layout

Two 10 metre by 4 metre ships side by side joined by a 6-metre-long boarding plank (1 metre wide). This can either be marked out with normal tourney field ropes or as we did you can use drop cloths, to simulate the ships sides which the combatants can drop down behind. The boarding plank will have normal ropes so anyone crossing it will be more open to attack.


Two ships are locked in combat and the only way to end the deadlock is to get an armoured combattant onto the enemy’s ship.


2 archers and 1 armoured combatant per ship. Each archer has 6 arrows.

How to Win

Each side must get their armoured combatant onto the opposing ship. Once on the opposing ship the fighter will be within 5 metres of each archer and the archers are therefore slain (see red circle).

Both armoured combatants can fight each other but only on the boarding plank. They can still be shot at by the archers. To win requires the defeat of the opposing side’s armoured combatant while at the same time protecting themselves and their armoured combatant from the other archers.

If both armoured combatants are slain, then it is a double kill and the bout will be refought.

Safe Viewing Areas

There is no safe area for spectators, so it is recommended that they be kept at least 30 metres away from the combat. While there are, areas fanning out from the boarding plank that are unlikely to see arrows directly fired through that area because it is only 6 metres wide there is a good chance of arrows skipping on the ground and ending up in these areas.


  • Change the ratio of archers to armoured combattants based on the numbers present. For large groups, you would need to make longer ships but keep the width. This way it would require multiple armoured combattants to board a ship and take as the bow and stern would be more than 5 metres from the boarding plank.
  • Could be turned into a tower siege scenario where one set of archers are in a castle tower and the others in a siege tower which has dropped its boarding plank. They would be more protected in the castle tower so you could compensate for that by allowing more archers in the siege tower. You could also make it that only head strikes count simulating the protectiveness of each tower.