By DonalBane of Blakmers
Battlefield Reporter, Pennsic Independent
Greetings once again to all my fellow SCA warrior watchers and the warriors who keep us entertained and enthralled at these great Pennsic Wars!
With the majority of the brawling throng still finding its way onto site, I thought it might be a good idea to review "what's up" on this year's Pennsic Battlefield schedule.
Change is a constant on the battlefield schedule from year to year and this year is no different.
If there's a catchphrase for this year's schedule, it would be "Fight all you want, we'll have more battles."
In honor of Pennsic War XXXVII, the number of War Points this year is 37. That's the biggest number of War Points in Pennsic history, nearly double last year's total (21).
What's more, that number is weighted toward mass heavy battles.
Three Points will be offered to the rapier fighters, including the rapier champions, while the traditional four Points will be given to archery and four more Points are allotted for heavy fighting champions' battles.
That leaves a whopping 26 points to be decided in six mass battles. Any fighter who leaves Pennsic this year claiming he didn't get enough stick time has no one but himself to blame.
Let's break it down battle-by-battle. There are some new fights and some twists on some old battles which should make things very interesting this year.Remember, although these battles are listed on the official battlefield schedule, all battle times are approximate and subject to change:
* Gates of Rome Battle @ 10 a.m. Monday Aug. 4 (5 points) -> The newest "concept" battle at Pennsic, this will be a 60-minute, unlimited resurrection affair fought over five gates in the "Aurelian Wall" around Rome. The wall will run diagonally across the main battlefield at Pennsic and a banner will be at each of the five gates. Control of each banner will be worth one War Point at the end of the battle. By the way, combat archery and siege weapons are allowed. This should be a fun.
* Woods Battle @ 11 a.m. Tuesday Aug. 5 (5 points) -> The Pennsic original returns with simplified rules this year: 120 minutes of unlimited resurrection warfare; five banners to fight over; control of each banner at the end of the fight awards one War Point. It's still impossible to watch, but it's still a lot of fun to fight, so they tell me.
* Town Battle @ 10 a.m. Wednesday Aug. 6 (5 points) -> A 90-minute unlimited resurrection fight, this battle will be fought over five flags stashed throughout the town. Marshals will check who "owns" each flag every 15 minutes, with majority ownership of each flag earning a War Point. I smell a tactical affair.
* Mountain Pass Battle @ 2 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 6 (3 points) -> That's right; two mass battles in one day.
This will be a one-hour, unlimited resurrection affair will be fought over three banners, with control of each banner at the end earned a War Point. Be aware, this is the battle where the combat archers and siege engineers like to play and ballista bolts don't care where or not a spectator wears armor.
* Bridge Battle @ 10 a.m. Thursday Aug. 6 (3 points) -> I admit this is my favorite battle to watch because it can be so tactical. There will be three fights over five bridges. Whichever side controls the center of the bridges after 30 minutes (or rolls over the field) will claim a War Point after each fight.
* Field Battle @ 10 a.m. Friday Aug. 7 (5 points) -> The main event takes its place as the last big War Points fight with five individual battles, each worth one War Point. The first two fights will be last-man-standing brawls with only hand-held weapons, while fights four and five will allow for combat archery and siege weapons. The third fight however, will be the most unique. In this battle, TRMs Konrad and Lutr will each take the field with a banner-bearer. The object of this fight will be to kill the opposition king and force him to retire his banner before the enemy does the same to yours. (Video game fans will recognize this as a "regicide" game Ð only this one is live action!)
There are the big battles of the week in a nutshell. It's going to be a long, fun War.
I can't wait to see all of you on the field. To Arms!