Pennsic XLI: Part 2 – More battles, and more important things

Tuesday morning rolled around and brought with it the promise of the Flag Battle for Rapier (seriously, WTF is a “Flag Battle”?  One does not battle on or in a flag like on does in a Field, Town, Bridge, Ravine, or Woods Battle) and the Bridge Battle for Armored.

Rapier Flag Battle

It turns out the flag battle was a grab-and-hold ground battle with three flags, one (on our left) in open field, one (in the center) in broken field (hay bales scattered about) and the third, stage right, inside a “house” with a two hay-bale wide entrance  on the right side and left.

Atlantia was given the heavy lifting: take the flag on the left, in open field.  Aethelmarc was assigned the broken field flag.  And the massed allies to the right flag.  Celric tapped ten or so fighters to reinforce the allies for the initial push with orders to peel off and regroup with Atlantia after the first five minutes.  He threw me in this group, which put me with Aedan, Connor, a few knights, and the Prince, and I finally had the sensation of being in that unit of Atlantians that gets dispatched to go lay down some meanness on the enemy.

Before “Lay On” they theoretically did a count and decided that sending ten from the Axis to the Allies would even things out.  Somebody, Celric or Caitlin, said “It’ll be ten chumps.”  And sure enough, nine chumps came over, and Davius.  According to him, “Yeah, nobody over there knows who the hell these other nine people are, so my Prince sent me over just so we weren’t total douches.”  Davius is an honorary Atlantian, though, and was welcomed on in and put to the hard labor.

We hit them at the entrance to the building but they had the better of it, slipped in and then set up a couple of war doors to help hold it.  We vied for it a little while longer, but pretty soon Aedan called the break off and we surrendered the house to them.

Meanwhile, Atlantia had formed up column, pointed at the open field flag, but had slanted at Lay On to hit the center, broken field flag in flank to help out Aethelmarc, and then return to the open field flag (which had been demonstrated in front of by a sub-set of Atlantia, Gardiner’s if everything was still to plan).

When I returned to Atlantia, we were shy of the open field flag, and the broken-field flag was a scrum of Aethelmarc et al. and that was about the way it stayed for the rest of the battle.  At each of the twenty minute time checks, we didn’t have any of the flags.

So after 40 minutes they said “well, let’s keep fighting for fun.”  And then Her Majesty of the Middle requested “Can we ask all the combatants to take the war doors off of the field.”  The same war doors they’d used to secure the building against attack.  At the 40 minute mark.  After they’d won.

During all of this, what with adrenaline, heat, and frustration, and some other doings, my temper got short (along with some others.  Beer story).  Luckily, when it did, Vlad was right nearby and Vladded the whole thing out (told you that it’d come up again).

It all being Vladded out, I was then curious as to why Marshal’s Court was calling for me.  So was Giacomo, with a “I thought we handled this.”  I trotted on up, saying “Giacomo, Vlad, these are the last words I’m saying.”  The RMiC says, “Okay, so, Jean-Paul, please start.”  And some dude I’d never seen before starts reading from the middle of the script.  I raise my hand and immediately go back on my words to Giacomo, but it was cool, “Um, this is the first I’ve heard of this.”  So Jean-Paul step off to one side, he starts from the middle of the script, I rewind us to the start, he says, “Oh, well, I thought I’d hit you twice during a fight over by the flag, but you didn’t call it.”  “Oh, shit, dude, my bad.”  I shook his hand, invited him for beer, and we were cool.  RMiC called “Are we cool?”  “Yes we’re cool.”  And we were cool.  So what’s so bad about Marshal’s Court exactly?

But I was still cranky from the earlier incident.  I was not feeling the spirit of gentlemanly set-tos, and took a pass on the bridge battles.  I wanted to be around for them, because, you know, Queen’s Spears and Every Warpoint, Every Way and whatnot, but it’s apparently a good thing I missed them.  Why?

Because the bullshit just had to continue.  Continue how you ask?  Well, it’s laid out right here in the conventions:

 

If, when the cannon goes off, the middle of the bridge is contested, fighters within the pre-marked 9 feet boundaries of the centerline will fight to the last man. If multiple bridges are contested after cannon goes off, once victory is achieved on a bridge, the survivors of that bridge may go help other contested bridges.

 

“If multiple bridges are contested, after victory is achieved on a bridge the survivors can go assist another bridge.”  If your bridge was NOT contested, your force left the field.  If you were outside of the “contested zone” on a bridge, you left the field.  Basically, the armies stopped existing.  So if, say, the Allies had won 2 bridges, and 2 others were barely contested, and the third was even, and if the remaining Axis fighters swept that third one clean, then hit the forces in the other two contested bridges from behind, the Axis could take all three contested bridges and somehow win.  Which is basically what happened.  And that is some bullshit.

As somebody pointed out, the thing to do would have been to leave one enemy fighter alive within the “contested” zone, and pile as many other fighters into the zone as you could, so that when the “contested” fight began you’d kill that one enemy and ass-ream everybody, because suddenly the enemy army doesn’t exist.  Somehow.  No mother fucking sense.  I’m so pissed off thinking about it now, three weeks later, when I wasn’t even on the field, that I’m pretty sure I’d have punched somebody or left the War if I’d actually been on a bridge that happened to.

Instead, I was having a much happier time, because Great Things Were Afoot.

My in-laws, the parents of She Who Must Be Obeyed, had announced back at Christmas that they wanted to come to Pennsic, so they’d been around Monday and Tuesday to see the fighting and the art, and Tuesday afternoon they took SWMBO out to lunch off-site.  Which offered the rest of us a great opportunity to set up her vigil tent.   She Who Must Be Obeyed was going to become Mistress Who Must Be Obeyed.  Sweetums was getting her Laurel.

By the time I got back to camp the tent setting up was done, except for some minor tweaks.  Sweetums’s apprentice sister, who was laureled last year, was taking an apprentice, which served as the explanation for all the food and Their Majesties showing up and whatnot.  When the apprentice contract was read out, it listed the members of Casa Bellini as “Mistresses Lucia, Livia, and Sunneva,” which Lucia pointed out was not factually accurate.  Which is when Their Maj’s said “We can do something about that.  Sunneva, please come forward.”  And Merwenna got a picture of Sweetums’s reaction.

She sat vigil through the evening while I ate food, chewed fat, and drank beer.  And the next evening she was elevated to the Order of the Laurel, with full approval of the gods (though, Giacomo was sitting vigil for his Pelican at that same time, so it may have been commentary on that as well).

3 comments to Pennsic XLI: Part 2 – More battles, and more important things

  • Tibbie Croser

    Many congratulations to your lady on her elevation to the Laurel. You look rightfully proud.

    To the main point: would you be willing to start a discussion topic on the pitfalls of excessive competitiveness? I admire your self-awareness of your problems with pride and anger, as mentioned in prior postings. It sounds like you had a really bad reaction to the rules of the rapier battle. I admire your wisdom in avoiding the armored bridge battles when you recognized that you were too angry to fight well.

    Without details of the “beer stories,” would you be willing to comment on what cost you pay for your pride and anger? It sounds like your extreme competitiveness has the power to take away your fun, even though it also spurs you to outstanding performance. What effect does it have on people around you? Does it take away their fun, too? Does it set a poor example for Scholars and Free Scholars?

    I hope you don’t see this as a personal attack. I struggle with issues of competitiveness, fun, and anger (I don’t get angry at rules, but I get angry at myself for poor performance, and it takes away my fun). I’d like to understand how someone in a high-visibility position deals with personal flaws.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>