Holiday Faire 2011   Leave a comment

Friday night, Tassin, Gawin, and I (but not Ruairc, boo Ruairc and holiday work schedules) piled in to Gawin’s little shoe box on wheels and headed up to Dante’s house, the two of them staying awake by talking alternately about League of Legends and Skyrim, which apparently are what people do if they can’t fight.  I admit to being a one-button fu sort of player, but I’ll also admit to being a one-button fu sort of fencer.  It’s probably telling that my favorite class on TFC was the heavy gunner.

Saturday morning we woke up, measured our manhood on the tracks of Mario Kart, and then headed off to Holiday Faire, which I’m told is a shopping event, but balls to that, there was fencing, and at least 50 people who needed face stabbings.  As Sweetums pointed out, it was also my first tourney as a white scarf, no pressure or nothing.  But I had to wait, because the first event was the…


Never Won a Tourney Tourney

These are an interesting exercise.  Instead of the usual “novice tourney” these make sure that those who are no longer quite novices, but are not yet real threats, don’t have to spend every tourney getting stomped into the dirt by the luck of the list.   Also, you get a wider range of experience, so fighters still get a challenge.  As luck, or skill, would have it, though, the last two fighters were both novices.  The winner was Somharlie out of Black Diamond, the runner-up was Tassin.  When the grumpy oldsters were standing on the sideline at the start of it, I said “Tassin will be last 8, if he fights his normal fight rather than his Fabris”.  But he pretty much stuck to his Fabris through the whole thing, so I guess that’s working or something, then.


Points-per-Wound Tourney

Dante, who is apparently immediately bored of any tournament format after fighting it once, threw another new one into the pot, based on something he read in one of those historical manuals with the naked men and the blood (they’re all sort of a period gay snuff film aren’t they).  You may recall that previous Renaissance Snuff Film Tourney ideas included “One tempo to counter” and “If you hit the list fence you lose”, and were advocated by me, at length.  So I had great faith in this one, also.  The basics:

Fight is first to 3 points, counted blows, not acted out

The head and neck are worth three points.  The torso, upper arms, and thighs are worth 1 point.  The forearm and hand are worth 0 points.  The shin and foot are worth 2 points.  So, you could face-stab your opponent and be done.  Or shiv them in the ribs three times.  Or once in the foot and once in the stomach.  Or some other combination.  I think the original manual prioritized these as the most honorable, or most difficult, strikes to deliver.  Anyway, the idea is “Hey, kill the guy, don’t just tickle his kidneys”.

Then, the winners fight the winners, the losers fight the losers, and you start getting stratification like a normal points tourney.  It didn’t happen here, but I think it’d be interesting to see a further stratification based on “points earned”-“points lost” (so, if you go 3-1, your score is 2, your opponent’s is -2, then have the 2s fight, the -2s fight, the 3s fight, the 0s fight, etc, etc).  Simona (Dante’s lady) said she’d MoL that.

So the strategy was pretty direct: Stab people in the face.  A lot.  Parting from my usual form of mixed case, I took sword and dagger so that, if measure shortened, I could deliver face stabbings and cuttings.  It was mostly successful.  I had a string of top end opponents, so my great dream of waltzing through face stabbing people from 10 feet away didn’t entirely happen, and Mr. Shiv got to do his job on more than one of them, but I did make it to the finals unbeaten, where I faced Aedan.  I dropped a disengage to feint, he made a (for him) huge parry motion that froze me and him, we stared at each other for a moment, and then I backed out, because I was pretty sure that was the one chance I was going to get.  We fought a bit longer, and I attacked, with my tip passing over his right shoulder.  His tip landed on my face, and that was that.

There was a pretty clear divide on the field, though, between those who “got” the concept of the tourney and those who didn’t.  Fighters throwing lots of body shots or closing measure to go for body shots were doomed.  It rewarded those who controlled the fight and targeted the face when measure narrowed, which really should always be the case (though you could play a little looser with your low guard in this if it meant trading a foot or a body for a head shot).


And we have a baby Free Scholar

Aldemere (soon-to-be-Baron of Black Diamond, Marxbruder) played his prize on Saturday after the tourneys.  The provosts lined up a bunch of proxies to make sure he got a good beating when they ran out of Free Scholars, and at the end the Marxbruders lined up in more or less Academie rank and attacked, one on the heels of the next, so that he had a series of one-on-one fights.  I was the last fight, and he managed to turn his back to me, so I tapped him on the head.  He spun, and we started fighting at narrow measure and closed range from there.  It ended with me on top of him, and, er, sort of kind of almost breaking his ankle.  Oops.  Comments were made about him going for the Wistric path to a White Scarf.  To my thinking, he’s been a Free Scholar for a while.  Now he has the gold scarf so that everybody else will be properly warned.

Later I did pickups with Rachel of Black Diamond, Mattheu, and Somhairle.  And, my fighting was fucking on!  Having two months sitting on my ass apparently allowed my brain to fester on fencing theory so that my one-time shots and control of the line were better than they’ve ever been for me.  Or maybe it’s the scarf.  Either way, it probably won’t last.  But, there may just be an indoor practice site for the winter, so I’ll have no excuse to not show up to Ymir ready to tear flesh from bones.


And other contests of mankind

Afterward, we went back to Dante’s house and had another game of Mario Kart that couldn’t be beat (or, could, really, as we proved, over and over).  Then we went to BWW because a) beer b) buffalo wings and c) MMA.  I’m told this thing is like HMA, but one letter different.  I’ve never actually gotten in to watching it, because it lacks the level of female participation I prefer in my sweaty half-naked wrestling-based entertainment.  But, I had beer, I had ribs, I had wings, and I had nowhere else to be, so we watched the Shogun vs. Henderson fight (and the up-card fights).  And… well… it makes sense now.  And, hey, there’s a BWW going in a half-mile from my house, so I could have beer, ribs, and wings to help it make sense again.

Posted November 29, 2011 by wistric in Events

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