Quarter Staff fighting in Sherwood Forest

A quick duelling game, the Bold Frontiers trees and felt streams rearranged quickly to make the log crossing over the stream quarterstaff fight from Robin Hood.

Little John vs. Tuck on the log bridge, Marian vs Will Scarlett in Duelling practice

First off using the Gerard du Gre Duelling rules (via Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming)


Little John versus Friar Tuck

One soggy Friar later, Little John takes on Will Scarlett.

I did not have a quarter staff figure for Will Scarlett or Maid Marian so very quickly masking taped a brown wooden cocktail stick to his sword and coloured the tape with felt tip. The same done for Maid Marian.

Robin Hood is busy watching and eyeing up a deer on the far side of the stream – no doubt the King’s Venison! Before he aims his bow, the deer bounds off with all the splash and noise of pretend battle.

Next up the undefeated two times champion of the log crossing, the still dry Little John is challenged by Maid Marian.

Heroscape markers 1,2,3 are used to keep track of life or melee points / hits.
Little John, big splash! Maid Marin gets a soaking too.

A slip and hit on Little John sees his third or melee life point gone – and into the water with him.

Being a big fellow, he makes a big splash, so Maid Marian isn’t laughing in her well deserved but now soaking victory.

A fun quick knockabout duel, keeping their fighting skills up for their next encounter with the Sheriff of Nottingham – boo, hiss!

1963 Enid Blyton Tales of Brave Adventure retelling of Robin Hood & Arthur, unknown illustrator

Robin Hood figures

The duel on the log is a great chapter in the early part of the Robin Hood story. There was even a duelling set of Tuck vs Little John and log bridge in the Britain’s quite inspired but short lived issue (c.1996) of Robin Hood figures to complement their existing Knights of The Sword, Crusaders and Turkish Knights / Saracens.

Photo from the toysoldier.co website – still available mint in box

Some interesting variations over the years of Robin Hood figures, including Replicants and LOD figures (still available from Steve Weston Plastic Soldiers). http://plasticsoldiers.co.uk/index.php/period/pirates-robin-hood-ancients/

I also have somewhere in my family collection a 1960s Crescent Friar Tuck from Kellogg’s http://cerealoffers.com/Kelloggs/Cornflakes/1960s/Robin_Hood_Figures/robin_hood_figures.html


Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 29 May 2020

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Baden Powell’s Boy Scouts were encouraged to do quarter staff fighting (probably as part of their early Master at Arms badge). Can’t remember if the early Girl Scouts or Guides did. Robin Hood and other chivalrous tales fitted well with the literary and historical “Cloak of Romance” imaginative scenarios for Wide Games.

See my Scouting related quarter staff blog and Scouting Wide Games blog site:


This one got away on eBay 2020 – didn’t win but took screenshot as good reference of uniform



6 thoughts on “Quarter Staff fighting in Sherwood Forest”

  1. Looks a fun game, makes me want to break out my Airfix chaps in Lincoln Green and their metal clad opponents. I do like your figures , they are full of toy soldier charm. I have been looking at the work recently of N C Wyeth and particularly liked his Robin Hood pictures. I find his pictures launch so many gaming ideas in my mind and convey atmospheres in a very powerful way.
    Your trees work so well and the use of natural materials like stone is very effective indeed. I currently keep a pile of garden stones handy on the wargaming table and have enjoyed marking out rough ground, cover or fords with them. I sometimes base figures with stones ( as in my 16th century Irish) to denote figures like marksmen who particularly use cover.


    1. I was puzzled looking at an Airfix box cover the other day of Robin Hood thinking is this fake? are these real? Then realised I have these, the Sherwood Castle, the sheriffs of Nottingham set etc.but never used them as such, they always got converted or mixed in with Britons, romans etc. as peasants, natives, foot soldiers, Sheriff Nottingham figures – fixing Airfix horses, and bases -ugh!
      I like this Deetail set, in play terms it complements or extends the other Deetail knights well in an ImagiNations way if you don’t want to play crusades (PC and all that). Needed more merry men though.

      N.C.Wyeth and his son very interesting family with toy soldier connections – I really like his son Andrew Wyeth’s landscape and building paintings https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/andy-wyeths-toy-soldiers/

      Using natural materials from the garden keeps that childhood / real / garden games touch even on the tabletop. These slate chippings work really well. Good against cat problems in the garden and excellent for uplighting plants. Large parts of my garden covered in slate clippings.
      Hope your garden centres in Scotland reopen soon as Lockdown eases…


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