Officers:Round Shields

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Officer's Rulings


New Ruling from 1st Jan 2018

2d curved round shield
  1. 2d curved round shields
(Allowable - Very Early to Very Late Periods. Restricted)
Note: The final decision of the use of this type of shield on the battlefield is still awaiting sign off by the MTO and MaA.
Irish-Sea Vikings and English warriors may use a 2d curved round shields as long as:
  • the shield board has a strict minimum of 5cm (2”) of clearance past the users elbow when gripped.
  • it is only curved to a maximum of 10cm (4”) deep.
  • it has an authentic sized “Irish Sea style boss” (max diameter of 17cm (6⅔”), including the flange). See shapes and typical dimensions to right.
  • it is used by a combatant of warrior status, although the warrior does not need to be wearing a mail shirt (so can be fighting with 2 hits).
  • it is not your only round shield at the show.
  • it is of good quality overall. Poor or damaged examples will be classed as Unacceptable.


  1. Unpainted leather fronted shields are not allowed to be of black tanned leather.
  2. Buckles used on shield straps should ideally be D-Shaped. 'Figure of eight' are considered Unacceptable
  3. All shields must have a boss
  4. Round shields may be flat or lenticular. Shields curved only in one plane are considered Restricted.
  5. Shields should either be painted in a single colour or alternatively in a simple pattern. If you choose a more complicated design then it is up to you to provenance it for use at the event’s dateline.
  6. No 'Celtic' style knot work patterns on shields. Appropriate Viking art styles may be used if approved by the AO first.

Restricted Items

  1. Shields painted in 4 or more colours (All Periods). Most shields seem to be painted in only one or two colours. The use of 3 painted colours is acceptable but only warriors with 3 hits and of aristocratic appearance can use 4 or more colours. Even so the use of more than 3 colours is not encouraged.
  2. Shields painted in artistic styles (All Periods) Any design that is not a simple geometric one must follow a recognisable period art style. Only full warriors with 3 hits may use an artistic shield design. As large obvious items shields painted in an artistic style can only be used at events where the art style is in period.

Special Mentions

Authenticity Officer Special Mention
More large sized shields
The meagre archaeological evidence would imply that shields were usually quite large in Regia’s core period with shields of 80-100cm (32-39”) being common. To this end I would encourage any new shields to reach at least 5cm (2”) past the users elbow when gripped. This will hopefully encourage more 79cm to 89cm (31” - 35”) shields.
More shields with sewn on shield rims
Although we cannot categorically say that shield rims were not nailed on it is more likely that they were sewn on with stitches about 3-4cm apart. The thread used can be leather thong, string (or linen thread), or sinew.
More freshly painted shields
Shields of the time would not have been covered in ball bearing marks. They would have been new and then hacked to pieces. To this end all active combat shields should be repainted at least once a year to remove combat marks.
Less blue paint
In Regia’s period the only viable way of achieving quantities of blue paint was by using woad. Even so the process of refining it to make the paint would have been expensive. Where blue paint is used for shield designs it is recommended that it be applied in moderation and that shades should be no darker or bluer than that of ‘Pebble Drift 1’ from Dulux.

Military Training

  1. We will discourage and, in extreme cases, ban any combat system which intentionally damages re-enactors shield.
  2. It should be noted that Junior Combatants (those aged 16 or 17) must follow the appropriate guidance as given in the code of law. Junior Combatants are identified by a shield faced entirely in black – and MUST carry this at all times in the combat. When fighting a Junior Combatant you should avoid shield barging and similar practices. No other warrior may carry a solely black faced shield.

Master at Arms

The Master at Arms Regulations 2015
The Master at Arms Regulations 2015
for Shields

Minimum diameter: 51cm (20")
Maximum diameter: 102cm (40")
As noted earlier all wargear should be in proportion to the user. This is particularly true of round shields. It is therefore highly unlikely that any member would need a round shield of the maximum size allowed. A combatant of average size (5’10”/1.8m) and build is well served by a shield of 80cm (31”) diameter.


  1. All shield boards must be constructed from exterior grade plywood of a minimum of 9mm (3/8”) thickness. Other methods of construction (planking, etc.) will be examined on an individual basis. Shield boards of 8mm may be used if the shield is faced with stout hide of at least 2mm in thickness.
  2. All exposed plywood edges must be disguised. Please pay attention to the cut-out behind the boss of a centre-grip shield.
  3. All shields must be edged with leather or rawhide. Nails used to attach the edging must be flush with the surface. Stitching edging to shields is highly recommended. The edging must always be in a good overall state of repair. Metal edging must not be used on combat shields.
  4. All shield board fronts must be covered in cloth, leather or rawhide. This prevents splinters from impacts to the front of shields causing a hazard to other combatants. Shield backs may be similarly covered.
  5. All uncovered plywood surfaces must be scored in the direction of the grain so as to give the impression of planking.
  6. All shield boards must be in good general condition, and free of holes and splinters.
  7. Washers used in the construction of a shield should be distressed, or otherwise disguised, so as to hide any evidence of modern manufacture. Washerless clench nails can be used only after the approval of the MAA or one of his deputies. Clenching seems to be the most common way of securing a boss to a shield, but can be tricky and cause safety concerns.
  8. All bosses must be made from steel or forged iron and must be free of rust and burrs. If they are of spun construction, they must be disguised to hide any evidence of spinning marks. They must be attached to the shield board with a minimum of four rivets, with the use of five being encouraged.
  9. Shield bosses must have a diameter between 76mm (3”) and 178mm (7”), excluding the flange. They should be of hemispherical, conical or mammoform section, and may be “shouldered”.
  10. Any shield may have metal strapping or re-enforcement added to the back of its board. Such bracing should show no evidence of modern manufacture and should be perpendicular to the planking of the shield. Additional metal strapping or metal plate decoration on the front face of the board must be avoided.
  11. A boss must be placed at the centre of the board covering the hand-grip.
  12. The hand-grip must have the appearance of having been attached, as a separate component, to the shield board.
  13. A round shield’s board may be flat or lenticular in shape. A lenticular shield must be constructed in such a way as to be structurally sound and capable of withstanding heavy blows.
  14. Lenticular shields should have a maximum diameter to depth ratio of 1:6. Thus, if you put a 36” (90cm) diameter lenticular shield flat on the ground, with the boss facing upwards, the hand-grip should be no more than 6” (15cm) off the ground. A 30” (75cm) shield’s hand-grip should be no more than 5” (13cm) off the ground etc.