Serf’s Uprising   Leave a comment

Last Weekend, our very own Aedh Ua Ruairc hosted us at Serf’s Uprising. As the name implies, the day was filled with melee fighting that pitted rebellious serfs against their rightful noble lords. There was more than enough schtick to go around, and  Wistric was the RMiC. At the beginning of the day, teams were formed with Her Excellency Adriana’s guards forming one team (Adriana, Talorgen, Filipo, Tassin, Girard) while the serfs formed the other (Adelric, Drogo, Stephen, Melchior, Dave, Ermagard, Andris, and myself). This gave the serfs a slight numerical advantage of 7 vs 5 (Drogo had to bow out, Dave joined us afterwards), but gave Her Excellency the greater share of the melee skill/experience.

Fighting started with a grand melee or something, but I was busy doing an authorization and didn’t get to play. I joined the serfs after the authorization in time for the first scenario that I’ve described here.

Scenario #1: Steal the Bacon Sidearms:

The first scenario was a fairly straightforward steal the bacon type game. The serfs’ offhand weapons were placed inside a “ruined building.” The baronial guard was fully armed. At lay on, both groups attempted to get the weapons back to their resurrection point. The peasant plan was simply to run forward and grab weapons as quickly as possible. At lay on, I ran forward and realized that the rez points weren’t terribly even, when the entire other team had reached the middle before we’d even gotten close. I ran past the building to intercept Her Excellency on her trip back to rez with a bunch of weapons, but didn’t make it in time. Ultimately I ended up dying and the serfs got none of their weapons. While returning to the serf rez point from the other side of the field, I realized that the Serf rez point was about twice the distance from the middle as the baronial rez point was.

Scenario #2: Steal the tax receipts:

The second scenario was roughly the same as the first. The idea was to capture the tax records (covered phone books) and tear them in half. The tax records were labelled alphabetically, so that if the peasants destroyed book “A” for instance, everybody whose name began with an “A” would be allowed to recover their sidearm. Wistric moved the serf rez point a little closer (now the baronial team only started 10 feet closer rather than about 25). The plan for the serfs was mostly the same. We designated Steve as the tear-er (and made various puns about him being a terror) and lined up to start. I grabbed Melchior and instructed him to follow me rather than keep pace with the rest of our team.  At lay on, Melchior and I ran forward and actually managed to reach the middle first. I grabbed the book that included the “G”s first and then fought off several of her Excellency’s guard while my team collected the rest of the books. Tactically speaking, I think that the baronial guard made a mistake during this melee as they seemed to be fighting individually, which allowed the numerically superior team to engage them in a series of 2 and 3 vs. 1 fights. The serfs ended up capturing all but 3 of the tax records, but unfortunately pretty much everybody on the team’s name would have been listed in those books, so only Melchior and myself got our daggers back.

Scenario 3: Counted Rez in the ruins

For the third scenario, we continued to fight in the ruins. This time the victory condition was to have the least number of resurrections. To that end, I instructed my team to stick together, avoid fighting in the buildings (they were death traps disguised as useful cover, really), and use caution. I took to the left flank. Throughout the battle, Tassin ended up lining up against me alone. I managed to kill him twice and run the baronial line. There was also a point where I managed to push Tassin out wide and have Melchior slip between him and his line to go kill some people. Unfortunately I didn’t clarify that Melchior needed to run the line rather than go for DFBs, so he only got one or two kills. At the end, the score was pretty close (17 to 16), but the Serfs lost. Throughout the battle, my team wasn’t doing a very good job at staying out of the buildings and they tended to die to the man rather than fall back and wait for slain fencers to return from Rez, so they died a lot. However, I think that this battle shouldn’t have been as close as it was mainly because the baronial team could have neutralized me fairly easily by pairing up another fighter with Tassin and then aggressively pushing against the less experienced fencers that made up the rest of my team.

Scenario 4: Woods Assault

The fourth scenario was the first non-rez battle that I fought in. We moved to the woods where there was a path that led from the field to a “fort” that Wistric had constructed from bed sheets and ropes. The objective was simple; for every serf that made it to the “fort” in the woods, we’d get a sidearm back. The Serf strategy was to stick together and push down the path in good order. I placed Dave and Melchior on our right flank and put myself on our left. As we advanced into the woods, we found the baronial guard had spread itself out and was attempting to pinch our flanks together. I managed to pick off Her Excellency who had lined up against me on her team’s right flank and then I ran the line, killing Girard, Tal, and Tassin. Filipo fell back, but was mobbed by the Serf team and died shortly afterwards. We had taken only 2 losses, and so we got 5 sidearms back which meant that we were fully equipped.

Scenario 5: Siege #1

With the woods assault successful, the Serfs raised their banner in the fortress and prepared to hold it against the baronial guard who were laying siege to rescue their baroness (who started the scenario as the serfs’ prisoner). There was a main front door that was open in the fort and a back door that could only be opened from the inside. The baronial guard was given 3 resurrections while the defenders had none. Tassin organized his team in several attempts to break our killing cup, but they were largely unsuccessful until Adriana managed to wrest a blade free from Steve after he died and DFBed the defenders.

Scenario 6: Siege #2

The serfs and baronial guard switched places and ran scenario 5 over again (This time without the hostage). The serfs were only given 2 resurrections, however. Rather than use the classic method of storming the killing cup, I instead had the serfs remain outside of the door and formed them up into a wedge using the one shield we had to provide cover from the left side of the door. I had another serf focus on sweeping blades down on the right side of the door and we took our time to snipe the defenders, slowly whittling them down until they were all dead. We took minimal casualties. Tactically, I thought this ended up working out better considering the level of melee experience of the serf army as well as the fact that its members didn’t fight together regularly. Storming a killing cup takes quite a bit of organization and requires either people who fight together regularly or requires a standard form of training that would allow disparate groups to carry it out together. The serfs didn’t really have any of those features.

Scenario 7: The fellowship has broken

Drunk with their nascient power, the peasants had their own revolt, with myself, Melchior, and Andris forming our own team of 3. This left serf team 1 which was led by Adelric and had 4 fighters, serf team 2 led by me with 3 fencers, and the baronesses’ team which still had 5 fencers. The next scenario was a game of capture the flag. The flag was placed in the doorway of the fort and each team was given their own rez point forming roughly an equilateral triangle around the fort. This scenario was mainly a fight between the peasants, while the baronial guard served mainly as a distraction. The peasant teams scored 1 point for each flag capture and lost 1 point each time their leader died. The baronial guard spent most of the time defending the flag. Adelric’s team focused pretty heavily on capturing the flag, while I had my team hang back. The point system meant that it was not really worth it for me to die in order to capture the flag or even for me to die by letting Melchior and Andris run off to capture the flag, so I mostly kept them close. We made attempts on the flag each time it was reset, but we mainly focused on killing Adelric as many times as possible. I ended up dying 4 times, while we captured the flag twice, which gave us a score of -2. Adelric’s team ended up capturing the flag 3 or 4 times, but he died a lot, which left their team with a score of -23. I used this scenario to demonstrate to my two teammates the importance of rule 4 (Remember the objective). It was interesting to me that leader kills and flag captures were worth the same amount of points.  This made it optimal to just hunt down the other peasant leader rather than focus on the flags or even the baronial guard team. The scenario might have been more interesting (or at least tricked teams into placing a false level of importance on the flag) had the flag been worth several points. I was a bit confused about whether the baronial guard could also win this scenario, so I had my team push for the flags in order to catch up with their positive score (since they couldn’t lose points), but apparently they couldn’t win, so this was a mistake on my part and probably cost me one of my deaths.

Scenario 8: Back to the ruins

We left the woods after scenario 7 and went back to the ruins following a short break where Wistric talked about being RMiC to the MiTs. We several of our fighters to court preparation, and so we ran a few final melees in the ruins. Because Adelric and Steve dropped out, Filipo was shifted to serf team 1 as their new leader. The first melee we ran was a counted rez melee. This time, only the team with the fewest resurrections got to keep their sidearms (as weapons and equipment fatigue in war). It was a 3 v 3 v 2 melee, with Tassin and Girard remaining for the baronial guard. This melee continued to demonstrate that the ruins were a death trap. We ended up killing Filipo’s team a bit and Tassin and Girard each got killed once, as did Melchior and Andris on my team. Actually, Melchior wasn’t so much killed as he lost his hand and then forgot about the victory condition and went to rez. Unfortunately there was a counting mishap due to Filipo’s team rezzing off of my team’s rez (which confused the marshal who was doing the counting), so rather than a tie at 2 deaths, we were counted as having 6. For the next melee, only Tassin and Girard got to keep their off-hand weapons.

Scenario 9: The final battle

The last melee was essentially a 3v3v2 fight in the ruins. If the baronial guard won, then the baronage won the day, if the peasants won, well they needed to pick a new leader, so the peasants could go to last man standing if they so chose. I started the melee by bribing my teammates with fig pies to choose me as their leader and we started the battle by teaming up with Filipo’s team to get Tassin and Girard. The two of them decided to hole up in a building (remember how I said they were death traps) and ended up dying spectacularly. That is, they were fighting back-to-back to defend the two doorways into a small building when Girard stepped back, passing in front of Tassin, and was DFBed by the person who was fighting Tassin at the time. Filipo died in the process of killing Girard and Tassin, leaving his peasants leaderless. I offered to incorporate them into the leadership of my new state (and also offered them fig pies), but they refused and we slaughtered them like the peasant scum that they were.

Unfortunately, my “coronation” as the peasant leader didn’t go so well and I was DFBed by Odo du Villain’s rake at the last moment.

After that, there were a few pick-up melees. I had a debrief-style conversation with Andris, Melchior, and Dave about the melees and when I asked them what they learned today, they said “Remember the Objective,” so hopefully that lesson sticks. Remember, if Wistric’s the RMiC, there’s always a trick.

As far as general thoughts, it seemed to me that the teams/scenarios ended up a bit heavily stacked towards the baronial guard, which made many of the scenarios less fun, as there didn’t really seem to be a chance of victory. As I mentioned before, the serfs had a slight numerical advantage, but the skill difference seemed to make up for that difference and then some. The serfs tended to win the non-rez battles where their numbers mattered, but lost most of the non-rez battles, as speed, coordination, and cooperation were more important in those.

An interesting note is that on the serf team, the leaders (Adelric, Filipo, and myself) were the only people with AoA’s. I thought this was a humerous statement about the 3 estate system of medieval feudalism.

Posted November 26, 2013 by Gawin in Events

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *