War Games

We’re kind of sad, in a sick kind of way, that there hasn’t been a real mano a mano war in centuries. The downward spiral started with the invention of the gun, then snowballed into fighter jets and nuclear weapons. Fortunately, there are still plenty of pre-1600s enthusiasts who prefer to wield broadswords in battle.

Each February, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) holds Estrella War, a weeklong re-enactment of the Middle Ages in which more than 7,000 participants camp out and immerse themselves in this particular niche of European history. With events that include heavy combat, rapier, and archery, SCA sends those ale-swilling pansies at the Arizona Renaissance Festival to the gallows. For non-warriors, the event includes a variety of educational and leisure activities, including arts and science classes, game tournaments, and a youth center.

Feb. 13-18, 2008
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Adriane Goetz