War of the Wings 2012, the One the Mayans Said Would be the Last – Part 1   12 comments


Two years back, when I was RMiC, Sacred Stone wanted to have rapier war points on Friday.  I borrowed a phrase I’d learned in French class (“Tu m’en fou!”) and helpfully declined to interpret.  But, boiled down, it meant I didn’t think there’d be anybody on site on Friday of War of the Wings until they got off work, then they’d just be setting up camp.  I was right.  I also was disinclined to put in place a schedule that would favor the host barony (which was one of the combatants) over the opposition.

Two years on, and there was actually a heavy war point on Friday, but still no rapier.  Part of that was achieved by having the procession on Friday, which forced all the baronages to be there on Friday, and their retinues.  Actually, not an unintelligent move.  Still, no rapier war point.  But they did put together a cool enough schedule that I decided I’d take Friday off and go out to site.

At noon was the Rising Star Tourney.  None of the local fencers were on site on Friday (seriously, guys, WTF?) so I didn’t sponsor anybody, though I offered to sponsor anybody in need of a sponsor so long as they came and found me in my camp and could prove to my satisfaction that they were worth the invite.  Nobody turned up, so I set about some infrastructure development in my pavilion (roof beams and curtain rods attached to the uprights by turnbuckles fitted over the aluminum caps on the poles).  When I finally got that finished after having to cut each of the rods down, and then cut one of them down again (my pavilion’s supposed to have a square roof, but it’s off by 6″ on at least one dimension), I set about actually getting dressed up to go to the field.

Meanwhile, Brian Moray took the W in the tourney.  He don’t suck so much, you know.  Congrats dude!

5-Man Tourney

The Company of the Brothers of St. Mark (aka The Marxbruders) hosted a Rapier Melee 101 class after the Rising Star Tourney.  I arrived for the end of it, and there were a good thirty or so people there working line fighting, 5 or 6 of whom had never been in a melee before.  Considering that sort of thing was half the point of forming the Bruders, that was heartening to see.  Atlantia has had a massive influx of new fencers in the past two years (the novice tourney on Saturday had over 20 fighters), and our training of the scholars has lagged behind.  Bruders gonna fix that.

The other thing the Marxbruders formed to do was to win melees.  Melees like the 5 Man Tourney that was after the Melee 101 class.  Letia, Alric, Baby Free Scholar Jean-Maurice, and I were there and teamed up.  Yusuf was playing with the Black Diamond team (even though he lives in Kappellenberg now, ahem).  Marius and Lucien were running the thing.  Lily was retaining.  So we were short a fifth.  Then Lucien said “Hey, Sir Kieran’s looking for a team.”  Kieran’s a knight in Greensboro who drives an hour with his man-at-arms-now-squire Fey when they can so the both of them can get good at fencing.  I love me the hell out of some crossovers, as you know, so we scooped him right up.

The MoLs said our name had to be clever, so it was Clever (blame ‘Rice for that one), and we made ready.

First round we pulled Yusuf and the Black Diamond team.  I put ‘Rice in charge in honor of his bright shiny new gold scarf.  Yusuf and Jen jumped me, I took out Jen but Yusuf took me out, and Black Diamond took the win.

I stood around thinking about it, and decided I wanted to win, so I took over command from there.  Which got me thinking:

How useful would it be for you, out there in readerland, in a “How somebody thinks through command decisions” step-by-step (like there was for my champs fight)?  I’ve been thinking of staging a 5 Man Melee Tourney as a teaching opportunity (have four man teams sign up, and each one would be assigned an experienced commander like Dom, Celric, Dante, Connor, Aedan, or me, to talk through the way they look at a fight and the choices they make).  I’ve been reluctant to do that sort of “Well, right now I’m thinking about X, and then Y” because it seems pompous, but I don’t know another way to teach that sort of thinking.

Our team makeup gave us Letia, who’s a great fast skirmisher; me, who can flank (though I really just don’t care about running into back fields these days); Alric, who’s a good strong line fighter and can also fight a flank; Jean Maurice, who’s a strong left-handed line fighter; and Kieran, who’s not great with a rapier but as a knight has a strong grasp of line combat tactics, especially aggressive line tactics.

As the composition of our opponents called for it, then, Letia and I would work flanks, Alric would either support us or form in the line, and the line would go forward aggressively.  At one point, against a crew of relative newbs, the flankers went up one side and the line went forward on the right, and while the flankers kept them contained the line munched in from the edge to the the center.  I liked that and want to use it again.

Overall the field position approach worked really damn well and we stomped through most of the rest of our opponents until we came up against the Wandering Turnip Farmers.

I’d been watching them fight and the tactic they were employing: Their line, three strong, started up front, and their flankers, Trap and Davius, started in the rear.  At Lay On, the flankers could break right and left, or both to right or both to left, as they so chose.  It gave them a lot of flexibility and didn’t advertise their plans.  Naturally, I decided to fuck with them.  When we came up against them we took the same 3 and 2 formation, except our front three were me, Letia, and Alric, with Alric tracking Davius and me tracking trap.  Letia’s job, then, was to go to the enemy backfield once we’d occupied their flankers, and the front three having cleared out of the way, our two heavy hitters were going to go straight up the center and crunch.  It worked pretty well, if you can call an outcome of three of us legged and one of us standing to one of them legged and one of them standing good (really, FOUR LEGGED PEOPLE ON THE FIELD!).  Davius and ‘Rice were mobile, Letia, Alric, and I were planted, and Brennan on their side was planted.  I wouldn’t let ‘Rice go play (frankly, I thought Davius would chew his shit up, though I was disproven on that later) and we were at a stalemate.  The marshals had banned knee walking, so I started off dragging myself towards Brennan, then opted instead for lifting myself up on my hands, swinging my butt forward six inches, dropping, and repeating.  Alric did the same and Brennan said “It’s like being attacked by zombies!”  Davius stepped in to distract me, so ‘Rice engaged him, but Davius started pulling ‘Rice off of me, so I called ‘Rice back.  Finally, Davius got frustrated enough that he came around behind me to try to attack, I turned and lunged and caught him (I think we doubled out, can’t quite remember because I was too busy laughing).

Afterward, the Turnip Farmers and Clever were standing around comparing records and realized that we’d each had one loss.  “Did you guys beat the Lusty Horde?” I asked.  Davius said they did.  We quickly agreed it would be a three way tie, and that the MoLs or Marshals would think it was funny to have a three way fight off, and fuck that noise.  “So, at Lay On, we jump the Lusty Horde, right?” “Right.” “And anybody who dies, we resurrect, right?” “Right.” “Great.”  And so it came to pass, the Lusty Horde was crushed, we lost two and the Turnips lost one, we resurrected, reset, and fought it out.  Clever again came out on top, and took the W for the tourney.  Me likey the winning.

Yusuf and the Horde were PISSSSSED, though, as I’d expected.  We called them over and apologized (I was by this time running off to grab my C&T gear to usher an authorization) and offered them a fair fight with the victorious team, with Davius standing in for me.  Clever took the W again, and everybody felt a little better.  No idea what we won, if anything.  Probably nothing, just good stories and smug self-satisfaction.


There was supposed to be a youth rapier tourney at that point, but there wasn’t, so I went back to camp, grabbed cold pizza, and went to the marketplace to set up for my own personal slice of heaven.

A year and a half back you may recall something about me finding The Dream, as it exists for me: Two guys slugging it out  with single sword, two-hander, and poleaxes at a barrier lit by a torch.  Holy bleeding testicled shit it was awesome.

We had four propane torches (I’d been expecting 6, 4 was just about bare minimum for our purposes).  Half the field had a barrier on it, half the field was open list.  Fighters were to announce their names, the nature of the challenge, and the forms they were using.  The result was two hours of fighting to exhaustion with a whole lot of two-hander and sword-and-shield counted blows.  At first it was mostly open list, but after Flaithri and I fought at the barrier others started to do so, also.  With the torch light on the helmets and the blades, and all the civvies gathered around watching, it was great.  I heard some non-fighters say “This is so cool” and it made my little belly happy.  Alric, who skipped out on the actual fighting, wants to run one at Night Under the Town now.  Basically, it was the most fun I’ve had in armor this year (since Sweetums still won’t let me wear the Sexy New Burgonet during Special Cuddles).

I’m RMiC’ing Tournoi de Grande Amitie and will probably do it there, also.

Then I was good and truly exhausted, went back to camp, drank some scotch, went to the Gilded Apples’s camp, drank some scotch and beer, nearly put Letia’s eye out with a toy sword, and called it a night.

Posted October 15, 2012 by Wistric in Events

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