Medium Aevum Hollolense ry

The Conquest of the Fortress of Love

Main event of the medieval market. Set between the teams of knight and opposing men-at-arms. The end result is pre-fixed so that eventually the men-at-arms will lose. Knights will be “immortal” whilst the men-at-arms will fight according to their sense of honour or to the third hit before surrendering. After conquering the fort the knights will surrender themselves to the ladies inside the fortress.

Equipment requirements

Equipment requirements for the tournament. Equipment of the participants should fit in the time period of the event as well as guarantee the safety of the participants. Allowed time frame for the equipment is A.D. 1350-1410.

The sarcophagus of St. Henrik at Nousiainen. It was made in between the years 1415-1420. The pictures depict the legendary first crusade to Finland, but the warriors are clad in contemporary gear of the sarcophagus. They present knights, men-at-arms and other retainers. Notice the cannon!

Men-at-arms and other retainers (Venans)

Organizers recommend following minimum gear.

  • Padded jacket/gambeson and/or maille shirt.
  • Helmets: Bascinet or kettle hat suitable for the given time period. Maille coif on its own will not suffice. Kettlehats of single piece construction are preferred.
  • Gauntlets or padded gloves suitable for the time period. Hourglass type gauntlets are preferred.
  • Simple mens clothing, military garment.
  • Also recommended are
    • Neck protector. Maille standard or bevor.
    • Groin protector
  • It is possible to use only basic men’s clothing in tournament show too.
A junior man-at-arms, or a retainer.
A knight and a retainer. Guess which is which.
The armour and clothes of a knight and an equal man-at-arms do not reveal the title of their owner.

Knights and esquires (Tenans)

  • Bascinet with visor and maille aventail or kettlehat with bevor. Kettlehats made of single piece construction are preferred.
  • Neck protector. (Separate maille standard or bevor)
  • Mail shirt with cuirass or coat of plates/brigandine.
  • Gauntlets. Hourglass type gauntlets are preferred.
  • Leg armour
  • Arm harness.
  • Also recommended
    • Heraldic surcoat
    • Groin protector
    • Wooden shield
A man-at-arms comparable to a knight in a fashionable suit of armour.


  • Wooden bow, no modern materials
  • Wooden arrows
    • No plastic nocks
    • Rubber blunts for the show
    • No metal arrowheads
  • Wrist protector
  • Mens clothes. See men-at-arms.

Allowed weapons

  • All weapons used in the event must be fitting to the time period of the event (AD 1300 – 1410).
  • All weapons used in the tournament must also be rebated, and clearly blunt.
  • The judges retain the right to forbid any weapon they consider dangerous. However, if the combatant does not have a safe weapon for the tournament the Judges shall issue a safe blunt wooden mace fitting for the tournament games.

Forbidden weapons

  • Chained maces and flails.
  • Weapons not fitting the time period of the event.
  • Overly heavy weapons. Such as heavy warhammers, or “swords” more than 1.5kg.
  • Sharp weapons

Rules of engagement

Tournament combat is by nature such that the aim is not to kill or harm your opponent, but rather to otherwise defeat and capture the opponent.

All strikes should be performed so that they do not cause any harm to one’s adversary even by accident. Injuring other participants is strictly forbidden.

Defeated combatants may signal their surrender by kneeling and raising their hand. Striking a surrendered combatant is forbidden. Also the surrendered may no longer take part to the combat. After winning the battle the knights surrender themselves to the noble ladies inside the fort.

“Remember, there is no shame in surrendering, but it is a skill to know when to surrender!”

Additional information for each part of the show and their corresponding rules and equipment regulations are to be found from separate section from this web page so every participant may decide which part of the show they want to take part in.

Main rules of engagement in tournament combat

  1. Do not hurt your opponent.
  2. Do not take risks that might lead to hurting your opponent, or anybody at all.
  3. Do not strike, or stab at the face, neck or groin of your opponent.

General safety rules

  • Participation under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited. (This includes serious hangover)
  • All participants are responsible for the safety of others. Do not continue attacking if you notice that your opponent is unable to defend themself.
  • Shout STOP if you see any endangering action! (A kid running amongst the fighters etc.)
  • When you hear someone shouting STOP! All action must cease until the endangering mishap has been solved.
  • The event organizers will oversee following of the rules. Any misbehavior may lead to removing a participant from the tournament field.

Attacking / Thrusting

  • Organizers recommend using mostly downward strikes to ensure the safety of other fighters.
  • Thrusts are allowed to the torso and with particular care if the opponent wears sufficient torso armour.
  • If the opponent has no adequate torso armour, stabbing attacks must be done past the torso and you may draw cut when pulling your sword back.

Forbidden hit locations

  • Face.
  • Neck.
  • Throat.
  • Backside of body.
  • Groin.
  • Joints.
  • Fingers.

Only with a familiar opponent if mutually agreed in advance

  • Wrestling
  • Very fast or intense fighting.

Forbidden techniques

  • Hitting with fists
  • Kicks
  • Joint locks.