Gulf Wars XX Part 2   1 comment

Wednesday – After the sun rose – Field Battle

We headed to the field for the start of the day, and en route passed Glynn Meara, where camps what can best be described as The Powers That Be of the East, Atlantia, and Trimaris. To provide a quick bit of context: The rough plan for the field battle was to divide Atlantia in to three parts, two flanking units and one that we took to calling the Elephant Cavalry: it would have Alan, Giacomo, Duke Jason, Duke Ragnarr, Count Sinclair, and Gaston, and be under my nominal command, in so far as anybody in that group really needed to be commanded beyond “Hey, that’s what we’re gonna kill right there, let’s make it happen.” Passing Glynn Meara, I looked over and saw a familiar tabbard beneath a fencing helm, but for a moment I couldn’t quite place it. Then it clicked. “Hey,” shouts I to Raph, “I get Duke Cuan, too, right?” I did.

Atlantia was the point of the spear in the center (the “plan” was, basically, a W, with Atlantia on the middle point, which led to much fussing that “A shape/letter is not a plan!” It was a bit more developed than that, but why give credit when it’s more fun to exaggerate?). And, at the point of Atlantia, would be the Elephant Cav, to make a hole and pry it open, so that our flanking units could roll lines. The makeup of the unit led to some joking that we would “Punch through the line, obliterate a target of opportunity in the backfield, and rally at marshals’ court.” Because when your unit contains 2 super dukes, 1 duke, 1 count, the KRM, and a former KEM, for one reason or another you may be needed in marshals’ court.

In the first field battle, we swarmed across the field at a good jog. Giacomo, as point and “blood hound”, was supposed to be looking for a soft spot in the line. However, he switched in to skirmisher mode, and headed straight for Don Robert MacPharland. So we followed, and kind of got hung up on MacPharland’s unit, though Giacomo, Gaston, and I did push into their line, though Gaston and I died quickly for the effort. So we watched from the sideline as 4 Ansteorrans ran Giacomo down, and as the flanks of the Ansteorran line slowly crumbled, then holes opened in the middle of the line and pretty soon it was over.

For the second run, we regrouped, re-formed our ranks, reviewed our plan, and this time we hit a good soft little spot at impact. Giacomo went through their line without breaking stride, with Gaston and Cuan right behind him, and the rest of the Elephant Cav pressing hard. Gaston and Giacomo both died almost immediately, and Giacomo hit the ground to not be in the way of the charge. And that, ladies and gents, is when everybody lost their ever-loving minds, because naturally, if a rapier fighter is on the ground something must be wrong.

Now, I don’t condone a “die defensively the same way the heavies do, always” mindset. It ain’t what works for me. But if you want to do that, then go for it, be my guest, don’t expect hold to be called. The marshal came over and bawled out Giacomo for “shield bashing his way through the line” (really, Giacomo stepped between two fighters without any violation of rules) and said he didn’t want to see any of that ever again. Somewhere behind me, I heard Raph say “oops”.

We rose to our guards, and Sinclair said, “Wistric, we’re in an embolism.” I looked around and saw that, indeed, the Ansteorran lines had bowed out away from our charge, with the break-out in front of us, and that at “lay on” we’d be hard boned: Cuan was still alive in the backfield, but way outnumbered and as good as dead; the hole Giacomo had made would re-seal instantly thanks to the hold giving everybody time to gather their wits; and the embolism was now a killing cup around us. So, at Lay On I called a “fall back” and we dressed our line with the rest of the army. I died shortly thereafter, and again, pretty soon the Ansteorran line started to degrade, and it was over.

While Trimaris had taken 2, we decided to run the third for fun. Most of the Elephant Cav decided to sit it out, to save their strength for the Ravine Battle later that day, so I was a man without a mission, or, rather, a man free to do what I wanted. This is never a good idea.

I hung back a bit to pull plumber-and-sergeant duty, and jumped on a guy who broke into our backfield.  The W actually worked in this, so the Ansteorran lines ended up kind of broken in to two pairs of lines, each pair fighting back to back. I jumped the backfield runner with another, and he retreated into his own backfield, so we followed him, then he broke and bolted for the far end of the field.  So, now I was a man free to do what I wanted, in my enemy’s backfield, and, in what can only be described as “Wistric Heaven”, I had two enemy lines, one on either side of me.  Of course, “Wistric Hell” is very similar to “Wistric Heaven,” but with no DFB.  This was Wistric Hell.  But you know what they say: If your surrounded by the flames, barbecue a pig (with tomato and molasses based sauce, you weirdoes in eastern North Carolina).  So I formed up on the right flank of one enemy line.  Now, this is usually the position from which, we are told, you can “foul the enemy’s blades”.  But, well… if you step forward a bit, you’re in their 180, and if you do them the service of actually getting their attention (a totally unnecessary service, mind you; I considered it to be the utmost in gentility at that point in trying to kill my friends) you can then, well, gut them like a fish.  And the guy next to them.  Having killed two, and the allied line having taken over the momentum to thoroughly munch the enemy line, I went over to the other enemy line in my vicinity, and joined up in the middle of it.

Across from Atlantians.  The same Atlantians who had been daring me to do exactly this.  Well, and one guy from another kingdom, who didn’t recognize the Wistric Garb, and took a lunge at me, but I parried.  Lily was directly across from me, and said “I saw you there, and knew you were going to foul, so I was waiting.”  Again, I got the attention of those on either side of me, and dispatched them.  I took out, I think, two more, before somebody got wise and turned and cup-shot me.  By now, though, Atlantia was well on its way to devouring them, and I bounced (yes, bounced) over to our rally point on the sidelines, where Raph and Matheu informed me they “just about dropped their swords laughing when you did that.”

I now have a new way to destroy the enemy in non-DFB melees, and it is righteous and fun.

Afterward, the field marshal came over and asked “Atlantia, is Giacomo with you?”  He had gone back to Glynn Meara.  But we all immediately thought of the joke about rallying on marshal’s court.  “Dammit Wistric!” hissed Raphael.  “We have inherited Aedan’s power of coming up with the worst plan possible as a joke, and making it the real plan,” said Matheu.  But he was not needed for discussion of his actions in the shield-charge-that-wasn’t, but merely as a KRM, and we were safe.

Wednesday Afternoon – Ravine Battle

The Four Freescholars of the Apocraphypse adjourned ourselves to the gyro place (which provided five or six of my meals that week, all the same lamb gyro with tzadziki, and I miss it already).  Sated, we headed back to the field to grab the gear wagon and found out that the Ghost Cadets had moved it to the ravine already.  We arrived up there to walk the field and muster the lads.

Atlantia’s 20 fighters and 10 Easterners were tasked with entertaining the Ansteorran force holding the flag on our left.  Northshield would take the central flag, and Trimaris the right-hand flag.  “I don’t entertain,” says Raph.  “Nor do I,” says Alric, Matheu, Wistric, and, you know, Atlantia.  “So we’ll take it.”  “Of course.”  At Lay On, then, we swarmed the flag and had formed our lines before the Ansteorrans arrived.  We bounced the first charge, and I checked the other two flags: The center flag was Ansteorran, the far flag Trimarian, two for three.  And this was the way it stood for the first twenty-twenty five minutes with some variation on the right-hand flag.  After twenty or so minutes, we got pushed off the flag and had to retake it.

Around this time, too, I noticed that Ansteorra had pulled resources off the center flag and started sending them against us, usually in the form of mass unit charges against our far left flank (where the East held), while the Black Tigers hammered our right flank.  Meanwhile, Northshield was pulling further and further away from us, stacking up their force to the right of the central flag, and leaving almost nobody to the left.  Atlantia, and 10 Easterners, had almost the entire field from the central flag to leftward.  We got rolled from left or from right a couple times, and almost every time coming back from rez we were outflanking the flankers.  It was a straight, steep uphill jog from rez point back to our flag, and everybody was gassing, but everybody kept at it.

Towards the end I checked our allies’ flags: Center gone to Ansteorra, far right gone to Ansteorra, too.  Around this time I may have gotten hasty, and yelled at our allies that they had to help fight the left half of the field if they wanted to hold on to even one damn flag.  I was kind of frustrated about being hung out to dry by our allies while they failed to accomplish their goals, and we exceeded ours.  This was a mistake on my part, which I regret.

After this point I started calling all of our forces back closer to the left flag, resigning the bottom of the slope to the enemy: if they wanted to fight our flank, they could do so fighting uphill, against a denser mass of Atlantians, all the while exposed to attacks in the flank and rear from our rezzing units.  Our flag went back and forth a couple times, and then it was over.

I’d taken a couple of stiff hits (one, on my elbow, is still scabbed over today as I write this; that shit don’t happen in heavy), and had a couple of enemy fighters not call shots I landed on them.  I was, as I put it then, pissed off at everybody on that field who was not Atlantian.  Giacomo, a few days later, called me to task on this, and to my way of thinking did so rightly.  Being as pissed off as I get about what is my hobby and my favorite pasttime is not healthy; if this causes stress, what do I do it for?  So my goal is to remember that even on the worst day, I am fighting for my Queen and Baroness, my Provost, and my Lady, and shitty shots, rhino hides, steep rez walks and frustrating allies can’t change that.  Also, killing people is fun.  Always.

Posted March 23, 2011 by wistric in Events

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  1. Pingback: Gulf Wars XXI (aka 2012) Part 3: Quothe the Ravine… « Wistric’s Weekly Warfare

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