Battle of the Nations (HMB)

The Historic Medieval Battles International Association (HMBIA) is the governing body that holds the prestigious Battle of the Nations event each year. The association was formed in 2012 when it was registered as a non-profit sporting association in Lichtenstein.

The first summit dealing with the organization of the Battle of the Nations festival and the championship was held in Kharkiv in 2009. Its participants, captains of the first national teams, came to a consensus concerning how to hold the event. In addition, the unified international rules of the historical medieval battle were created. Since the rules could vary in different countries and even in different regions of one country, the creation of the unified rules allowed to simplify the conduct of battles.

The first Battle of the Nations was held in 2010 in Khotyn (Ukraine). It was attended by the national teams of four countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland. Russia won most of the first places. The program included three categories: a duel (1 vs 1), group battles (5 vs 5) and mass battles (21 vs 21). For those who were not members of the national teams, but came to support the comrades, there were non-security buhurts.

Campsite at Battle of the Nations 2010Khotyn Fortress, site of the first two Battle of the Nations eventsTeam Russia, dominating the field at Battle of the Nations 2010

 

Building on the experience of the first Battle of the Nations, the participants of the second summit held in Kiev spent time on modernising and refining the rules. In addition, the summit of the year 2010 was attended by representatives of the countries which were potential novices of BotN.

In 2011 the second Battle of the Nations was held again at the Khotyn Fortress. Seven national teams participated, four old ones and three novice teams: Italy, Germany, and Quebec. The first places were won by Russia. The festival was attended by about 30,000 spectators and during the festival, a documentary about the life of the participants was shot.

In 2011 the list of battle categories presented at the festival underwent significant changes. Two additional categories, the “professional fight” and “all vs all” were added to the three classic ones. The latter category replaced the non-security buhurts, giving an opportunity for participants who are not members of the respective national teams to gain valuable experience.

Overlooking the campsite at Battle of the Nations 2011Some people go all out on their harnessFighters making their way to to lists at Khotyn Fortress

 

Battle of the Nations 2012 was held in Warsaw, Poland, and gathered representatives of 12 countries. A feature of the festival were battles of mounted knights, that were included in the program of the traditionally foot world championship in HMB for the first time. The top four teams were Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and debutants USA.

Towards the end of 2012 the “Captains Summit” for Battle of the Nations was held just outside Paris for teams to announce their intentions to attend the 2013 event. It was here that the UK was first represented and it was also announced there that the HMBIA was officially incorporated as an international sporting association.

Battle of the nations Captains summit 2012. The UK flag can bee seen for the first time on the left.

Captains summit in Paris, late 2012. The UK flag can bee seen for the first time on the left.

 

Battle of the Nations 2013 was held in Aigues-Mortes, France and saw the debut of the UK National team. 22 teams from Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific Rim took part. With the increase of teams, there were no “pro rules” fights or mounted jousting in the main arena. The top four teams were Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and USA. Team 1 of the UK national team (made up entirely of Battle Heritage fighters) reached the quarter finals and were knocked out by the eventual tournament winners, Russia 1. Quarter finalists outside the top 4 are not ranked, so on our debut we achieved something between 5th and 8th overall. A documentary, Knight Club, was made of the UK team journey there featuring three of the novice Battle Heritage fighters.

Team 1 on the field at Battle of the Nations 2013 in Aigues-MorteThe dust flies during the All vs All at Battle of the Nations 2013Captain of Team 1, Nikolaj, looks on while being filmed for Knight Club at Battle of the Nations 2013

 

The 5th anniversary of Battle of the Nations the event was held in Trogir, Croatia. Battle Heritage did not attend this event and their absence was felt with the UK team only achieving a disappointing 25th of 30 teams.

In 2015 the Battle of the Nations was held in Prague, on Petrin Hill overlooking the old city. Once again Battle Heritage sent two 5v5 teams and for the first time ever a team team to compete in the “royal” category, 21v21. Once again Team 1 charged through winning their 5v5 group stage without a loss, only to lose once again to the eventual tournament champions, Russia 1, in the final elimination stage; securing a place of 7-10 of 30 teams (the finals being an odd number of 6 contesting teams).

In 2016 once again, Battle of the Nations was held on Petrin Hill. Battle Heritage again committed two teams- UK1 and UK2, to the 5vs5, who were able to advance further than previously to take joint 11th/12th place and joint 25th/28th respectively. Battle Heritage also fielded the majority of the 21v21 ‘royal’ catagory team, who succeeded in taking 5th place, while Lukas Kowal took 5th in triathlon.

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