Ruby Joust 2012: How was yours?

I know a few of our contributors are already working on writeups, which should get their own post, but feel free to chime in with your thoughts on how the event went, how you did, etc, etc.

12 comments to Ruby Joust 2012: How was yours?

  • Tassin

    The “Never won a Tourney tourney” went poorly. I got to the field just before it started and didn’t have time for any sort of warm ups. I came out with a sloppy fight and lost right away.

    I picked up a dagger and did some pickups before the Ruby Joust tourney. That tourney went a bit better I went 6-5. Probably more importantly than the record I learnt that the guard I was using, dagger arm extended straight, sword withdrawn and in 3rd, right foot forward, was leaving a big opening outside. The easiest way I have found to correct this so far is using a similar guard with the sword in 4th instead of 3rd. I also noticed that except for 1 fight all of my wins came from a sword thrust. The only time I felt compelled to get into dagger range was when I thought my opponent didn’t take a blow from the sword.

    Sunday was melee. The 5 man capture the flag competition turned into a 5 man line fight competition. There was no flag and the rules (due to the uncertain, leaf covered terrain) prohibited running or DFBs. The K-fecther’s strategy often involves threatening flanks and trying to maneuver our opponents into bad situations while fighting. With the rule set that was used we weren’t able to do that. As a result we didn’t do so well.

    The military tourney was fun to watch.

    Then there was more melee, more line fighting. The initial setup was scholars vs not scholars with the scholars having a 4 or 5 fighter numerical advantage. The first 3 passes had 3 different plans but they all played out pretty much the same from what I could see. The scholars lined up advanced to engagement and died. From what I could see the reason for our failure despite numerical advantage was a lack of aggression when it came to using that numerical advantage. After 3 passes the heat got to be too much for me and I left the field to start packing up. I am told that things got better.

    • Wistric

      It seemed like in the training, the Kfechters weren’t fighting together. Correct? If so, why?

      • Tassin

        In the first pass Ruairc took command and was told to step out of line by somebody since we had sufficient numbers where the commander didn’t need to be in line. The second pass we were used as a reserve and told to fill holes as they appeared. The third pass there was some discussion about how we were having issues with your side of the line and so it got stacked. I was kinda messed up at that point (like I said I stepped out before the next pass) and wasn’t really paying attention to where I was in the line. I don’t know what happened after that.

      • Gawin

        As Tassin said, for the first few rounds, Ruairc was commanding. The rest of us were nominally the middle of the line except for a few rounds where Tassin and I were reserves and worked to plug holes while Malcolm and Jaume were in the line. The big problem for our side was that our right flank was getting eaten rather quickly by Dante, Armand, and Matteu. After Tassin left, we reorganized the line, placing Jean-Maurice(I hope that’s the right one) and Diarmat (From Marinus) on the far right, and they were better able to stave off our collapse on that side. Rhonwen took over command and the K-fechters were more consolidated from then on. Our goal was to exploit the gap in the middle of your line between Flaithri and Matteu, which we finally succeeded at the first round that we won. After switching sides, we stayed in the center and continued to hit the middle hard, but Ruairc had to leave at that point as well (since Tassin was his ride).

        • Wistric

          What was your objective in attacking that hole?

          • Gawin

            First, to kill Matteu, Armand, and Dante on our right flank, as they were chewing us up pretty hard over there. Assuming we took out Flaithri in creating the hole, that would then leave yourself, Ilaria, Simone, and Letia (I think) pinched between our advancing right flank and the line that you started fighting. It didn’t work so pretty, and I didn’t get to see how it worked the first time that we won, as I was killed by Flaithri during the press. After we switched sides, you guys shuffled up the line and it was Ilaria/Simone in the middle. I screened for Rory to create a hole between Simone and Armand I think. He ended up in the backfield, DFBed Armand. He did disrupt the order of your left flank in that fight, but ended up getting killed by Dante I think. I was killed by Ilaria while blocking for Rory, but I believe Bruce and Jaume dispatched them while they were busy stabbing me.

  • Jaume

    I’m of the opinion that a tournament open to all authorized fighters who choose to participate should never be cut short to accommodate one that isn’t.

    Other than that, basically what he said. Had a great time, but there was definitely room for improvement both in how things were run (I’d really have liked to be able to bring our normal speed-and-maneuverability fight to the five-man) and in how I fought personally (I should’ve pushed myself to be in armor in time for some warm-ups before the NWRT Tourney), but I had a great time on the listfield all the same and lament primarily the fact that there wasn’t more of it.

  • Gawin

    Personally I found the way the fighting was run at Ruby quite aggravating. Saturday morning’s tournaments were both single elim speed-tourneys, and I was a little cranky about being told I could only fight in one (which ended up not being the case as I was out of the NWATT before C&T even started). There seemed to be a lot of yelling/focus on getting those tournaments done really quick, but then we simply proceeded to take a 1 hour break before starting the Ruby tournament. I’ll admit I wasn’t entirely happy with how my NWATT pass had gone, but I was left wondering why I had rushed through breakfast to get armored up to do a single pass before waiting an hour.

    The Ruby tournament went alright for me. I think I went 5-6. I lost two I shouldn’t have. In my fight against Benjamin, our marshal decided to move around behind me at the exact wrong time and I got tripped up/stabbed. I think Ben’s courtesy in asking to reset is worth mentioning. With Saturday’s heat, I made a realization about what I don’t like about round-robin tournaments, namely the uncertainty of when your next pass will be, but I’ll save the details for an upcoming post where I’ll be proposing a modified round-robin tournament format.

    The 5-man melees sucked. It was the part of the event I was looking forward to (especially in the absence of a woods battle), and I’d imagine that the same is true for my teammates, as its a format we’re actually pretty good at and stand a chance at winning. The no running rule for the tournament was pretty devastating to our team as we’re very reliant on tactical awareness, mobility, and teamwork rather than individual prowess. As Wistic joked before we started, the lack of running forced us to line fight (His exact words being that it forced us to fight like Chris). As a team we’re not bad at line fighting, but we’re certainly not comfortable with line fighting a whole bunch of free scholars and provosts. I think we started the tournament pretty demoralized, and for myself, a series of crappy stuff that happened in our third fight made that worse. Our win over the Bruders had put me in a slightly better mood and I was also a bit relieved by the realization that we’d had all the hard teams first, but that bit of enthusiasm was crushed by the premature end to the tournament in order to start the Military tournament. Ending a tourney that everyone can participate in early so that you can start one that is exclusive is wrong.

    After a bit of cooling off/grabbing lunch, we returned to the field for the practice melees. I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more time spent talking, but its worth pointing out that the provosts need a talking stick to prevent 4 of them from restating the same thing (less talking, more fighting). The melees were run scholars vs. free scholars and provosts. We had a slight numerical advantage (11 vs 8), but the first few rounds went poorly. Our right flank was getting destroyed in 10 seconds or so by Dante, Armand, and Matteu. The Kfechters were variously in the middle and in reserve for the first few fights. We noted early on that the FS/P team was creating a massive hole in their own middle, but were unable to capitalize on it due to the rapid nature of our right flank’s destruction. We eventually reshuffled the line, putting the 2 Black diamond fencers on the far left and the 2 Marinus fencers on the far right. That bought us a little more time, and the remaining Kfechters hit the middle hard at the gap between Matteu and Flaithri. Our dwindling unit continued to hit the middle hard for the remainder of the fights.

    All told, my frustrations stemmed out of two big things. First, I witnessed a lot of ignored shots. Normally one or two don’t bug me much, its a game after all, but in aggregate, my count was closer to 10 and that really started to bug me. More importantly, in two days of event, I got to do less fighting than I normally do in a 3 hour practice every Thursday.

  • Dante di Pietro

    I had a pretty good Ruby Joust. 🙂

    It could have gone more smoothly, but any time you take on such an ambitious schedule (with an Investiture!), things like that will happen. RMIC something on that scale and you’ll see what I mean.

    In any case, drinking a whole Monster almost put me out of the main tournament. I lost a couple fights in my pod because the caffeine was making my heart race so much I ended up having Adam check my pupils in case I was having a serious problem.

    The NWATT is supposed to be a short and sweet thing, and single elimination makes that possible. That does mean that most people get dropped in round one; 75% of the tournament is over by round 3. They shouldn’t need cards or trees or any of the stuff that usually takes a while to get going.

    The C&T list was too small. More people need to get into that, because it is so much more fun than heavy rapier. I hope that the Zen Warrior hood that has apparently existed FOR A YEAR!!! helps people get involved. I basically used a “cut to head with sword, control blade with dagger; control blade with sword, thrust with dagger twice” methodology to win my rounds and the tournament.

    The Ruby Tournament was pretty good for me. As I said, I had a pretty bad reaction to caffeine and it threw me off. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I ended up facing most of the good records at the end, when I’d balanced out again. At that point, I was able to sweep, and knocked at least a couple people out of contention. We had a 3 way tie, which got complicated because Llwyd was on fire.

    My journey through the top 8 was Samharle (sp?), who was a tall guy fighting case who fought like a tall guy fighting case. Everyone wants to be Drizzt, no one wants to learn their mechanics. Next was Dominyk, who is probably my worst matchup in the whole SCA (he’s the only person, ever, who has the deception and speed combination to overload my visual processing index). He missed a shot on me and I returned fire and landed; the picture for this is the stuff of madness and makes no sense. I’m in much, much better shape than the last time we fought at a Gem Joust (2009), so I think I moved faster than he expected.

    Wistric in the finals: a double kill (fortes are sharp for us!), centerline head or throat, dagger? In any case, he was fighting dagger like it was case: squared up, big open line down the middle. I checked under the mat, found the key to his primary gate, and strolled on in. If you’re going to do Giganti, do Giganti. Video exists for later dissection.

    I skipped the 5-man because the format seemed weak. I ended up in the Military Tournament when Ella told me I was fighting for His Majesty. I geared up, and ended up losing to Armand in the finals. No shame there; he caught me clean. I went 21-4 for the tournaments, including extra fights and so forth, won 2 of them, and made the finals in the 3rd. It was pretty sweet to have won the last Sapphire Joust and the first Ruby Joust.

    The “teaching melees” were okay, though it’s not especially fun for me to run the same people down 4 or 5 times in a row, and that’s more or less what happened even after the scholars started adjusting. We eventually started yielding initiative at the onset, and started losing. It seemed productive, so hey, I’m for it.

  • Tibbie Croser

    Dante, I’m one of those people who’s been curious about C&T for a long time but has not tried to learn it yet. I think equipment is only part of the issue. I used to think of C&T as just one thing, but I’ve realized that people fighting C&T in Atlantia are using a relatively wide range of armor, force levels, and weapons. I’d like to try rapier-based C&T myself, but I wouldn’t want to be in a tournament or authorization bout in C&T minimum armor with a rapier facing someone like Giacomo in his SCA heavy kit trying to do Fiore or I.33 on me with a much bigger, heavier, stiffer sword.

  • Tibbie Croser

    Let me clarify that I’m speaking only for myself in regard to C&T. What’s a deterrent for me isn’t likely to be a deterrent for most Atlantian rapier fighters.

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