Fighters pick through the ruins for banners and enemies
Photo by Tarmach ben Yehuda al-Khazari
By: Mary of Montevale, Reporter
Wednesday night, somewhere in the darkness beyond the most remote of the B-block camps, two small voices:
“So what are we going to do on the battlefield tomorrow, Brain?”
“The same thing we do every battle, Pinky—try to take over the Known World!”
A muffled sound followed which sounded suspiciously like “Narf.”
Actually, the planning for the Ruins Battle (a late replacement for the Woods Battle which was cancelled because of the unsafe conditions in the Woods this Pennsic) was a much more serious business, involving consultations among both Kings, both Heirs, both Earl Marshals, and both War Lords.
The scenario for a broken field battle which resulted was an effort to recreate some of the features of the lost Woods Battle, such as five flags to be captured, obstacles to a smooth terrain (in this case hay bales recruited to play the part of rocks which could not be climbed on or over but could be fought across), all made as equitable as possible for both sides, given the situation.
The total time allotted for fighting would be 90 minutes, with one War Point awarded for the side that held the majority of banners after 30 minutes. At approximately the 60 minutes mark, two more War Points went to whichever side then held the majority of banners, and finally after 90 minutes, the final two War Points were given for identical criteria. It was a Resurrection battle so that fighters could be killed and then return to the fight after going to back to certain point on their side of the field.
No combat archery or siege weapons were allowed, and there was a requirement that only gauntleted hands could rise a banner — and the latter had to be raised above a certain point on the pole or it would not count.
The most contested flag of the day was the center one of the five, with such a crowd around it and so many spears in action that sometimes it was almost impossible to make out the post to which the banner was fixed. The East and its allies were able to control the two flags which sat closest to their side of the field with little trouble until the final minutes of the battle when units such as Darkmoon and Darkyard made strong pushes to remove the defenders in both locations. Quick movement to give support by Dark Maul, Æthelmearc, and Storm Haven for the East eventually ended that.
Despite an occasional threat from Iron Lance and more Æthelmearc fighters during the second half of the battle, the Middle kept possession of the upper flag on their side of the field. At the southern end of the Middle’s side, the Northern Army fighting beneath the East’s banner was able to control the critical position there for most of the time.
At the northern flank, a mixture of spear fighters who hailed mostly from Trimaris and Ansteorra faced an almost continuous challenge from a large number of Tuchux who were trying to break through to the Midrealm’s backfield. Tthe brave defenders for the Middle included allies His Majesty King Gunnar Oxnamegin of Trimaris and his Heir Prince Kurn. Both were rightfully proud that their “thin blue line,” as they have dubbed their forces at Pennsic 43, refused to allow the Eastern allies to break through at that point.
At the opposite end of the field the members of Blood Guard, Rome, and others who have been fighting alongside Rome this War, kept Calontir and some other Midrealm allies from being able to move very far for very long.
I spoke to King Brennan of the East after the battle in which the East and their allies triumphed by a resounding War Point score of 5-0. His Majesty attributed the victory to great commanders who had made great plans and to the fighting units themselves who stayed with a plan of working in formations instead of simply sending single replacements into holes in the Eastern line. “We were able to bring numerical superiority at the points of contact,” he said, “and that is what made the difference.”
My thanks once more to Lady Lorin of the Dual Masque (East) who again was beside me at a field-wide vantage point in the Fort. I advise those who read this on site to keep an eye out for the sneaky little rodents who may decide to make one more try to take over the Known World on the last day for War Points.