Gawin’s Drums of War   Leave a comment

Wistric asked me to write up some of my thoughts about Drums of War this past weekend, and so this post is going to be from the perspective of a fairly new fighter. I’ve been learning this whole fencing thing from Wistric since early October and DoW was my 5th melee event.

Let me start out by saying that all of the day’s fighting felt much more like a practice than a competitive event and I think this was intended. We started off with a stretching session run by Dominyk before breaking into teams for the day’s fighting.

I was placed on a team comprised of all the fighters at the event who are going to Pennsic. There were 8 of us and Dominyk ended up as our commander. Wistric led the team of fighters who are not going to Pennsic. There were 10 of them, but I think we had an advantage in skill. Our team got to wear cape-lets bearing our beloved Spike.

Field Battles

The first two melees were each 10 minutes and took place in a large rectangular open field space. List fence posts occupied the four corners and served as resurrection points. There really was no victory condition for these battles, but for the second we were asked to keep track of the number of times we died.

Battle 1

Our team of 8 broke into groups of 2 or 3. Letia, Elphin, and I formed the left flank of our line, but soon after lay on, Letia was legged, I was killed, and we never really got our group back together. Rezzing fighters posed a constant threat to the rear as the fighting occurred quite close to the rez points behind us. About half way through the fighting, our team managed to kill a lot of the other team and pushed the lines back towards their side. I used this to my advantage, and after one of my (several) rezzes, returned to a point behind the enemy line and managed a few DFBs before being killed again. At one point Letia, Elphin, and I regrouped near a rez point and were picking off a small group of the other team’s fighters when Wistric managed to charge us with the rest of his team. We scattered and I took a few fighters out as I escaped. They didn’t really keep a line when they charged us and a bunch sort of ran past me as I picked them off.

The fight was followed by a water break and some fighter trading. Letia was sent to the other team to command.

Battle 2

Once again we formed small teams and I think the team stayed in those a little better. I, however, was legged about 30 seconds after lay on and got to sit for about half the battle. 2 of my other teammates (both of our provosts) were also legged fairly close to me, but our team let the battle go to the other side of the field. At that point it was 10 v. 5 and I don’t imagine they were doing very well, but with no other objectives aside from counting your own rezzes, it was hard to tell. Percy finally put me out of my misery and I rejoined my team’s right flank and managed quite a bit of disruption on Letia’s left flank. I think Dom and Elphin were also allowed back into the battle though. Wistric killed me at one point, then killed me again immediately after I rezzed, but after that I managed a string of 3 DFBs (one for the commander and the other two for the center of their line) before stepping back into my own line. For the last 2 minutes or so I think our team was managing a lot of kills as their line never really seemed to be in one piece after that.

Woods Battles

We took a break for lunch before heading to the woods. We started with a doorway battle with one team defending and the other trying to get through.

Battle 3

We were the attacking team. We placed our best fighters on one side so they could hit hard while the rest of us were instructed to defend them. It didn’t really work and we all died ingloriously.

Battle 4

This time we were defending and we used a similar tactic with our best fighters being placed on both sides of the doorway and the rest of us holding the center. At one point Letia’s right side got over-eager and we killed 3 and legged one within about 5 seconds. I killed the legged fighter a few seconds later and the 5 of us on the left swung around and helped kill the remainder of Letia’s team.

Battle 5

The objective of the last two melees was to capture and hold a flag. Winner was the team with possession at the end of the time limit. One side’s rez point was closer to the flag but was over rougher ground while the other team had further to travel but the ground was obstacle free.

We started on the short side and the plan was to wait for the other team to take the flag and set up their defenses before advancing to recapture the flag. There were basically two paths to the flag that could each be blocked by about 3 fighters. We managed to push through those points and capture the flag a minute or two into the battle. We managed to hold the flag almost the entire time, but it was most likely because they attacked us in smaller groups. Their side of the flag was more open, and they would have been able to bring their numbers to bear, had they rallied everybody at once. Letia led a few attempts at this, and was successful with about 3 minutes left. We managed to regroup and retake the flag and in the last few moments they once again regrouped and charged. If there were a few more seconds left, the result might have been very different, as only myself and one other member of my team were close enough to the flag to count as holding it.

In between these battles, Wistric asked Miguel and myself to give a lesson on line fighting. We basically demonstrated a zipper drill and why not to lunge, etc.

Battle 6

We switched sides and gained Adam, a fairly new fighter with a lot of range who I’ve fought a few times. We once again planned on letting the other team take the flag before countering their defenses. We formed into small groups, with Adam and Caitlyn working together on one flank and Elphin, Miguel, the newly authorized fighter, and myself holding the center. This time the flag changed hands much more often and Wistric and Dominyk did a lot more flanking during this battle. We had managed to hold the flag through a couple attacks before being repulsed with only seconds left. We made one last attempt to retake the flag but were not successful before we ran out of time.

After the battle, Dominyk gave a lesson on how to both prevent flankers from getting around your line and how to flank a line. I thought it was interesting, but would have liked an opportunity to put it to use.


I worked on attacking in tempo using single sword with Elphin and Raphael before doing a two passes with Dominyk and a couple with a new fencer (I think he authorized that day). I managed a couple really pretty shots and my lunges were looking a lot better.

Posted June 23, 2010 by Gawin in Events

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