Gulf Wars XXI (aka 2012) Part 2: The Field Battle   3 comments

aka the Warfare part

Atlantia rallied bright and early at the Atlantian Field Pavilion (see Monday).  And there, Rapier Mom-in-Training Lily (Countess Kari is Rapier Mom-in-Charge) led us all through stretching and warmups.  As mentioned previously, she’s looking out for those of us who refuse to look out for ourselves, especially those of us with 30+ year old backs, and intent on the Atlantian rapier community not pulling every muscle we have just walking to the field battle.  I’m currently poking her to get the full stretching regimen that she led us through in writing.

As has been observed (and more on that later), I like to be in charge.  Not necessarily in charge of the army, I can share with other Atlantians, no worries.  But when things are run stupidly, I bristle.  There was some bristling going on in the field battle.

First reason: Every army was required to produce 1 line marshal per 9 fighters.  This meant Atlantia kicked in 6 marshals and, for a field of 350 fighters, there were 35 marshals.  Just a WEE bit excessive. There aren’t that many marshals in the Pennsic armored field battle.

Second reason: Those line marshals?  Could not just be heavy fighters we handed a stick to.  Nope, had to be honest to goodness rapier marshals (not just rapier fighters).  Why?  Who the hell knows.  I believe a lot of these very qualified marshals spent the battle going “There’s an ant pile here.”  Why a heavy fighter can’t do that, I have no idea, maybe rapier ant piles looking different from armored ant piles.  My response was “We get Kingdom Rapier Marshal Giacomo over here, have him ‘domine patria’ a bunch of heavy fighters into the rapier marshallate, and undo it when the day’s over.”  I was told this was not in the spirit of the rules, to which I replied “Stupid rules require stupid responses.”  This is going in the Wistric Book of Diplomacy.  Yes, this is a thing.  Letia, Raph, and Alric are making it.

Third reason: Balancing the numbers.  This required lining us up to count us.  Three times.  To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army your enemy brought.”  Yes, the numbers were something like 250 to 100, and that would suck horribly for both sides, but there’s an easy way to do this: “Shit, y’all outnumber us 5 to 2, you’re gonna win, we concede the warpoints, let’s even it up and fight this for fun.”  But we can’t do that.  What we can do is count everybody.  Repeatedly.  Forcing them to stand still for fifteen minutes when they may be in the middle of more important business than covering up for your failures.  At the very least, your commanders talk the day before the battle and figure out their numbers, then shift allies around.  You do not move units around ten minutes before the fighting when EVERYBODY KNOWS THE PLAN ALREADY.

Fourth reason: Poorly defined conventions.  Like, for instance, not telling anybody “If you step on the edge of the world you’re dead.  No, we 35 highly trained marshals are not going to employ our wisdom and sagacity accrued over years of judging fighter safety to make sure you remain safe while still enjoying the fight, we’re just going to call you dead.”  Stupid rules…  And how did we find out about this one?

Field Battle 1:

Atlantia was stationed on the far right of Trimaris (and thank you, Trimaris, for not yelling “WHO’S HOUSE?!” while the marshals were calling “Lay on”).  Gardiner’s Company plus the knights who crossed over were the far right of Atlantia, basically pointed to implode the enemy’s flank while the rest of Atlantia engaged the line and kept it occupied.

When they evened the sides, the Mid, who knew this entire plan (see Reason 3 above), was sent from Timaris’s side to Ansteorra’s, where they promptly stacked up with Meridies against Atlantia.  Still, no worries.

The Marxbruders (less Alric who was XO for the army and Marius fighting with Hawkwood) were to the immediate left of Gardiner’s.

Aedan and Caitlin were slightly in front of the line.  At “Lay on” they took off at a sprint, apparently skirmishing though this had not been communicated down the line.  So Giacomo, at the head of Gardiner’s, and me, at the head of the Bruders, and a few others took off at a run after them trying to maintain unit cohesion.  We ended up pulling up across from the Mid in a bit of a disordered line, but most of Atlantia came up with us before engagement.  And then I realized there was nobody to my right.

Remember that fourth reason above?  A line marshal had been tapping out Gardiner’s with his staff and informing them they were dead as soon as they set a toe on the edge of the world.  No warning, nothing.  Just bam, half of Gardiner’s gone in a flash without communication.  Can you tell we may be a bit cranky about this?  After it was all said and done I suggested to His Majesty that he give that marshal a Shark’s Tooth for doing more damage to Atlantia than any fighter ever did.

Anyway, boned like that, Atlantia was overwhelmed and Ansteorra rolled down the flank of Trimaris.

Field Battle 2:

Dame Ros and Master Gasters stepped out of the fighting to help marshal after that (meaning EIGHT marshals from Atlantia), and planted themselves along Atlantia’s line to call out “Edge of the World” because, seriously, fuck that shit.

The Mid got sent back to Trimaris’s side and formed up on our outer flank (we also traded sides of the field, so now Atlantia was on the left).  At “Lay on” Giacomo and I did NOT follow Aedan and Caitlin as they went to skirmish.  We moved with purpose (and theoretically with the Atlantian line dressing off of Giacomo) and closed on Ansteorra.  Aedan and Caitlin had occupied one unit, while a unit to their left pushed forward, opening a gap about twenty feet wide with one defender immediately to my right.  I checked over my shoulder, and Atlantia was not up with us, so I killed time waiting for them to arrive so that we could exploit the gap.  About the same time they did, two more fighters filled in the gap.  Bah.  So it was a line fight.  Eventually I died, but Atlantia pushed on, rolled the flank, and Trimaris took the W.

Field Battle 3:

Went almost exactly as Field Battle 2, but without the gap to exploit, so cut straight to the line engagement.  I ended up next to Aedan, fighting Her Majesty Ansteorra and her guard, which was a couple of Ansteorran white scarves (Conrad, I think, was opposed to me).  There was a fighter immediately next to them who kept distracting me, and not calling anything that landed on him.  Eventually the white scarf in front of me dropped me, and I watched from the sidelines as Field Battle 3 ended the way Field Battle 2 did.

I was a little peeved by that fighter, but was working on my inner zen because Angry Wistric needs to retire one of these days, when I heard Arghylle complaining about a fighter who wouldn’t take anything he threw (and Argh doesn’t throw gentle if he thinks you’re not calling his shots).  Turned out it was the same guy.  Angry Wistric wasn’t ready for retirement.  I was frothing and thinking marshal’s court-y thoughts.  We found the guy, talked to him, and he was very polite but basically said “I didn’t feel anything.”  See the above comment about Argh.  Turns out Sinclair was also having problems with that guy.  But I figured there was nothing that could be said in a marshal’s court that we didn’t say there, so turned off the marshal court-y thoughts (at the end of the war, the RMiC said “I had no marshal’s courts!  Thank you!”  I missed my chance, dammit).

Still, the W went to Atlantia Trimaris, so not much to complain about at the end of the day.  So then it was on to the Ravine (With a stop for gyros, one must be civilized afterall).

Posted March 23, 2012 by wistric in Events

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