I'm off to the battle now, if you are going look for this banner:
How do the archers work? Do they just shoot like sticks or something?
Not a re-enactor (though I am an archer) but:
What I have heard is that on arrows during re-enactments, there aren't actual arrowheads but 're-enactor points'). Which is basically a small rubber tip over the point of the arrow.
These are not the giant, squishy heads they use in LARP, but like this:
Additionally, but I do not know if this is standard practive, is that the draw weight of the bows is limited to a set amount. Historical warbows would be immensely strong and even with a rubber tip, you could break someone's bones when you'd have a historically correct warbow. (120lb for an English longbow (usually, but could go up to 160lb) and roughly 80lb for a turkish horseman's bow).
Besides the danger of causing damage to people, it is very hard to find people strong enough to draw even a 60lb bow.
A draw-weight I have heard repeatedly was 40 or 50 pounds in draw weight for re-enactments.
yup that is correct, the draw weight is maxed at 35lb simply to prevent permanent damage, however back in 2006 some idiot decided to use sharps with rubber covers that meant as the arrow hit a shield, the sharp broke through the rubber and in bedded in the shield- so glad no-one was hurt. Realistically though the arrows still leave a mark like paintballs, so it hurts to get hit- during training we had a few archers shooting us from close range and that did hurt a lot XD
Anyway the event is over unfortunately
I was there all days, but it was interesting fighting- I was in the middle section of the Saxon army both times for the main battles and it hurt XD first day we faced the italians and germans I believe, ie reenacters from Italy and Germany. However both were not well versed in the English fighting system so fought very dangerously despite being yelled at by officers on both sides XD in some instances literrally jumping onto spear and sword points to shouder charge our line full pelt which is fine when we are prepared as we can keep our weapons back but since we were already ingaged this was very hard to stop stabbng both them and allys in the face. I died in this first fight being stabbed by 3 or so two handed spears from the Norman side. Second day we saw less action to start with since we were standing between the melee however the french line decided to attempt a boar snout- of you don't know what that is it's when you get a heavy person at the front of a triangle formation and they advance in a triangle. This might not sound effective, but the heavy guy leans backwards such that there is essentially a spring action when he stops that and the entire formation is thrown towards the enemy line. This is very effective to do when done properly, but it was a very slow effort from the Norman soldiers as it was very slow and didn't punch through the line, rather it stretched it and they got cut down. Further on the right flank a saxon boar snout was in play which annihilated the majority of the norman left flank, except due to overwhelming odds they got cut down in their efforts but put on an amazing show.
All in all, about 1200 foot soldiers, 50 cavalry and 80 archers were fielded which made a very impressive display
If you watch this you can see me defending against the archers on the first day: