Wistric’s Pet Peeve 2: Failure to Use your Numerical Advantage

Yes, it’s another Pet Peeve.  I have many.  Don’t act so surprised

Too many times I’ve seen two fencers face down one fencer and, in glorious battle, do absolutely nothing.  Eventually, they died ingloriously.

Good gentles, if you have numerical superiority, DO SOMETHING WITH IT!

Crunch Them! Kill Them! Squish Them!  JUST DO IT!

Two scholars can kill a provost if they just do it right (here’s a hint: One of you may have to die).  Be willing to do it!

The quick and dirty of the two-on-one: The first person to get to the one ties up the blades, either with her own weapons or with her body.  The second person, right behind the first, strikes while the blades are tied.  One provost dies, one scholar maybe dies, and the second scholar gets all the glory.  But if you stand at long range and hem and haw and wonder what to do, the provost will take the initiative, kill one of you, and then beat the other in one-on-one.  Do not give up initiative!

A little bit of nuance: When approaching your intended victim, don’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder.  This narrows the window through which your attacks will come, and your victim can better defend.  Spread out a little, come in at an angle (Call it 120 degrees), so that your victim can’t look at both of you at the same time.  On the other hand, you’ll be able to see your victim and your teammate, and watch for them to act or signal your intent to act.

Of course, this comes with a caveat:  If you spread out too far or move in too slowly, your victim gets the chance to engage one of you quickly, kill the first, and then it’s back to the one-on-one.

So, to reiterate: Spread out SLIGHTLY, move QUICKLY, kill IMMEDIATELY, and one of you may have to die.  Don’t fear the white scarf, they call “dead” just like you and me.

This is something you can practice with three people at a practice:

One is the victim, the other two kill the victim.  Give the victim case, the other two only get single sword.  And they have five seconds to kill the victim.  Run it slow at first, victim can’t move, only parry.  Then let the victim move.

Two Sacred Stone Baronial Birthdays ago we were running melee practices, and I received the charge of two of my students who had been authorized less than a year, after they had dropped the other two people on my team.  As cocky as I am, they simply ran me down, coming at separate angles, fouled my blades and rolled over me without me getting a shot off.  It was over in two seconds.  If they had waited two more seconds, I would have had the chance to pick one of them off, but they came on quickly and without fear, and I was done.

But seriously, don’t dither or you’re dead.

3 comments to Wistric’s Pet Peeve 2: Failure to Use your Numerical Advantage

  • Dreya

    A friend of mine who was training to be a sous chef once told me that the most important thing he had learned from the head chef was that any decision, even a bad one, is better than no decision at all.

  • Dreya

    Also, I feel compelled to note that it is now quarter past one in the a.m. and I am deeply entrenched in the Atlantia rapier forums. This is clearly all your fault; no doubt I’ll hear your devilishly victorious chortle from here.

  • “any decision, even a bad one, is better than no decision at all.”

    Indeed! There was a baronial practice where we were in the woods in a melee, and Alejandro was yelling that at me from the right flank. Then I got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Good times. Good times.

    Oh, and, yes, much cackling has occurred.

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