Ice Castle 2011

Man, what a weekend.  Really, it’s hard to start off with anything else, more enlightening or scholarly or anything.  By the time I got home on Sunday I was so thoroughly sated on a vast panoply of levels that the only thing left to do on my checklist was shoot Nazis and go to sleep.  Good fighting, good food, good friends, good drinks.  Basically, what more can a brother ask for?

Of course, we only care about the fighting on this blog, so…

Blacksword Tourney

We held the first “real” Blacksword Tournament to start the day.  Caitlain tried to explain to me the Ansteorran way of running a quick and dirty tournament (basically, list everybody by some rough sort of rank, fold the list in half, and those are your pairings.  Use one card per fighter to track the performance of that fighter.  Data crunch afterward).   So we took a swing at that, and it worked pretty well (except for the whole “Hey, I know you said we needed to sign up, like, 3o minutes ago, but can I still sign up?”  I feel sorry for MoLs).

My first fight was against Grettir (whose house I was staying at).  We engaged and he batted aside my sword with his, so I retreated.  He’s much more C&T- and HMA-focused, which meant that his actions were larger than a rapier fight needed, but he was still quick, and I retreated again after a second beat, then cavazioned on his third beat and counter-lunged, which finished the fight.

My next fight was against Raphael.  I pretty much relied on my range advantage in that one (I was using Happiness throughout the tourney), and he has pledged that he will defeat me the next time (Next time, gadget, NEXT TIME!) now that I’ve taken him out of two Blacksword Tourneys.

The next fight was Thomas.  I caught him sleeping in range and landed a shot between his sword and buckler.

Then it was the semis, and I was paired against Aedan.  I came to just out of measure, identified target, and was about to launch my attack when he threw his shot.  With a parry, it glanced down the side of my boot, and I retreated.  Again, just out of measure, I identified target, and his shot was already coming in.  It scraped across the mask, and I realized that, basically, I would not think faster than him, but that I could lunge faster and bigger than him.  So, immediately on resuming our guards, I lunged, and struck the left side of his mask, and that was that fight.

The other semis fight was Lady Jennifer (who, auth’d less than a year, had used aggression and fast dagger work to pummel her way through the tournament, taking out Letia, Iain, and Marina in the process) against a destructive bye (fought by Raphael).  The bye won, so I was the last real person left, and was about to do a victory lap when somebody decided I should fight the bye.

The bye this time was in the form of Mattheu, and somewhere along the way I missed a parry and received a hit to my chest, meaning that, yes, the bye won.  Oh well, that’s the shit that happens.

3 Man Melee Tourney

Raph, Mattheu, and I teamed up for this one, with the name Team Speedbump.

First round was against one of the Black Diamond teams (who do a good job of training melee combat together).  Mattheu and I engaged two of their fighters, Raph engaged the flanker, and ran with him to the far end of the field, effectively taking both out of the fight.  There was some exchange I had with my fighter, and I broke engagement (or maybe killed him) to attack Mattheu’s opponent in the flank as Mattheu went down.  My first shot apparently missed, and he landed a good shot on me.  Raph went down, and we’d lost that round.  Well, not too bad, it’s a round robin, we’ll make it up.

Except it was double elim.  Luckily, we found this out before the next round, and proceeded to put on our big boy shorts and get our killing on.  We put a basic plan in place: Jump the weakest link hard, then mop up (with one exception).  It worked consistently.

The exception was the Aedan-Caitlain-Lily team.  Because of the styles of Lily and Caitlain, we knew that we could count on them to be less aggressive, and if Mattheu (who’s got a rock solid defense) could keep them engaged, that would free up the other two to engage Aedan and end him, then mop up.  Which is basically how it went; Mattheu and I engaged Lily and Caitlain, then I broke and came in on Aedan’s flank (there was some chumpiness on my part, here, for attacking when Aedan didn’t know I was there).  And we mopped up the rest.  So, all well and good.

That put us through to the finals, which were… against the team that beat us in the first round.  So here we decided that, perhaps, we should get some revenge.  They had no losses, we had one, so we’d have to beat them twice.  The first run I was sent to jump the weak link, and jumped right on to a stop thrust (crap).  But Mattheu and Raph mopped up, and we had our one win.  Just had to get one more, so we went to the backup plan.   Raph took on the “jump the weak link” role, and while the weak link kept him busy Mattheu and I jumped the other two.  Mattheu dropped his target, and my target, who was the same opponent I apparently missed in the first round, broke to reinforce his remaining teammate.  I lunged at him as he broke, and apparently missed again, so I followed through with a dagger to the neck which did not miss, and did not miss with quite a bit of momentum behind it.  About that time, Raph finished his target, and we were done.  Now if only we could have fought like that the first round.  Still, we got the pretty scrolls with our names on them, and a warm fuzzy glow.

Tavern Brawl

Her Majesty has requested more tavern brawls, so we ran a big long string of them.  These are chaos, and almost no tactics are available except exploitation of limited fronts where they present themselves.  Of course, when missile weapons are in play, these static positions are as much a liability as an asset.  We played around with tactics, and basically just enjoyed ourselves, as is right and proper.  There’s another at Ymir, so there could be actual comparative tactical knowledge to compile eventually.

The day ended with pizza, chocolate torte, and Carcassone.  And then the next day Grettir and I hammered on eachother with some C&T, which inspired me to go home and finish my head protection so I can actually practice it.  That (and improvements to the Pretty Stick and Happiness) is now done, so it’s time to beat some fools like they kicked my dog.

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