I'm starting to like timeline events more and more. The first time timelines came to my attention it sounded like a 14 year old boy's dream to finally have the Romans fight the Nazis (and possibly dinosaurs.) However, I'm starting to appreciate the value they have.
First, timelines give us a chance to see impressions that are not appropriate for a battle due to their non-military nature or inability to fit with popular scenarios. This particular event had a lovely lady viking among other interesting ones! I also like that the emphasis is on the impression and history and not so much a battle. Timelines are one of the rare situations where women and their impressions are at the forefront of the event alongside the men.
Second, timelines offer variety which is beneficial to families who might not all be into the same time periods or visitors who just enjoy general history and like to see some variety. I thought it might be weird seeing Revolutionary War guys talking with Civil War guys but it makes it easy to compare and contract time periods and see evolutionary trends.
Finally, timelines allow the time to practice period skills such as the arm to arm drill pictured below or the chance to test out equipment such as the WWII radios.
This event was a great chance to relax, socialize, teach, and practice period skills that don't normally see the light of day during the rush of a reenactment. Some of the boys had fun trying their hand at WWII radio communication while