War of the Wings V: Making War, not Love – Pre-gaming   1 comment

After War of the Wings IV, or, rather, AT War of the Wings IV, somewhere between the fighting and the drunkeness during court, I offered to be RMiC for War of the Wings V.  Raphael, as Rapier Guru of Sacred Stone, is usually responsible for finding this victim, and so I let him know he could find me.

A few months went past, during which it was discussed whether or not there was a marshal in Sacred Stone up to the task, and it was December when I said “Hey, Raph, tell the autocrat that I’m going to be RMiC”.  He did and they consented.  It would be the second event I ever RMiC’d.

Why I Did It

I would love to claim that I was motivated by my selfless spirit of service; that deep within me beats the heart of a proto-Pelican who shall one day spread his wings and fly with all haste towards the sound of somebody calling out for help.  I would love to claim that, but I would be full of shit.

I did it out of ego.  I really do enjoy doing service, but I don’t do it for sefless reasons.  It’s really easy for me to sit in the cheap seats back here and bitch on my blog about whether or not an event got run exactly to my liking.  I figured it was time I nutted up (or shutted up… er… ?).  Then, in the future, assuming I was in fact all the huge shiney shit I think I am, I could sit in the cheap seats bitching, and if called on it say “War of the Wings V” to end any argument.  Along the way, I’d also get a real hands-on bit of training for how to run a large melee event, mostly through trial and error, and asking Dame Roz.  Of course, what my ego didn’t realize is that, ultimately, whether or not I can use this event as an argument from authority is going to be judged by posterity.  Some nice things have been said in the past day or two, but I’ll wait to see what’s being said in a year, when nobody thinks I’m looking.

So the plan…

“Ruskies don’t take a dump without a plan,” or so says Fred Thompson in “The Hunt for Red October”.  And it was a sort of a mantra for me for the past year, reminding me that every little detail needed to be included in the plan.  Not that I expected everything to go to plan.  The first victim of warfare, after all, is supposedly the plan.  But the more that was covered by a plan, the more energy I’d have left to handle the unplanned for stuff.

And The Plan boiled down to communicate early, and communicate often.  To the point of annoyance.

Start Early

In December I was identified as the RMiC.  Also in December, Raphael was identified as the Sacred Stone Commander, and Dante as the Stierbach Commander.  So, I figured, why wait?

Before the new year we had begun four-way e-mail discussions (the fourth begin Lord Guntram, who served as my deputy) of what we’d like to see.  I knew I wanted a woods battle and I knew I wanted the ruins battle.  Fans of the Weekly Warfare will know that I think woods battles and town battles are just about the keenest damn thing in the world, and sod the rest.

Dante offered up a set of victory conditions he’d like to have for the woods, including a combination of hold the flag, capture the object, kill the commander, and don’t die.  Complex, but doable.

We had planned to meet at Ymir (early February) to discuss in person, but weren’t able to do so, and continued the discussions over e-mail reaching a final view of the Woods Battle and Ruins, and overall point plan for the day, sometime in March or April.

Conventions Planning

In December at the Atlantian Unevent a change of our approach to melee rules had been announced by the KRM.  Basically, we were openly recognizing that Atlantian law had no rules governing rapier melee, and Society only had two (engagement from Lay On, and attacking from within the front 180).  Marshals were then encouraged to consider what other conventions they would use.

Alongside our scenario discussions, I privately planned my conventions for the day, including the use of Combat Archery (initially I was tempted to ban it, but let the commanders decide to include it), RBGs, DFB, knee walking, suicide, friendly fire, and how the front 180 would be defined (I find anatomical definitions to be arbitrary; I instead took a “You know it when you see it, and if you aren’t sure take another step.  Don’t be a jerk.” approach.  I heard no complaints regarding the implementation of that standard at WotW).

Lastly, given Wistric’s Rule 7, I wanted to head off as many stupid questions as possible as quickly as possible.  Communicating conventions early would permit lots of time for stupid questions prior to the event, thereby saving my schedule day of.

Speaking of that schedule

I also recalled from previous years my annoyance at the schedule delays, so determined that I would adhere to my schedule as closely as possible, and shrink the morning timelines to provide more fighting time.  This would require a certain amount of will.

Communicate Often

Around April I began drafting the various pieces of information for distribution (Schedule, the Friday SGK tournament info that Guntram developed, conventions, morning timelines, scenarios).

In June Dame Roz informed me she would be another deputy marshal, and provided some advice.  With her advice I finalized the informational e-mails that month, and then saved them as drafts to send out after Pennsic.  The month of July actually idled me because of the rest of the world’s focus on Pennsic (since I wasn’t going, I was still thinking about ways to insure WotW went well, including how many marshals I’d need and what I would need them to know and do, what tools and equipment I would need, how much work would be needed on site).  The Monday after Pennsic I began sending out the informational e-mails to the Atlantian Rapier Net.  Nobody would have a good reason to claim ignorance (people might have a reason, but I’d be hard pressed to consider it good).

Lots of discussion of the various scenarios and conventions happened on the e-mail list, and I was glad for every question asked there, as it saved me having to think up an answer and give it on the day of the event.

Really Often

I then sent these e-mails out again one week before War.  They really wouldn’t be able to say I didn’t warn them (And then fighters at my own practice asked me what the schedule was.  I admit my mind boggled).

Lay On really only marks the halfway point in the action

August and September then became the time to start implementation:

Contacting the Autocrat to make sure I’d have the needed flags and other equipment

Lining up MoLs

Lining up Marshals and MiTs

Mapping the ruins I would use

Walking the woods to plan rez points and flags, and clearing out clutter and debris

Moving and setting up the ruins

Next: Game on!

Posted October 11, 2010 by wistric in Events

One response to War of the Wings V: Making War, not Love – Pre-gaming

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  1. Pingback: War of the Wings 2012, the One the Mayans Said Would be the Last – Part 1 « The Weekly Warfare

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