This seige engine stands ready for the Castle Battle.
Photo by Tarmac Ben Yehuda al-Khazari
By: Lord Alaric Messer
While it used to be reserved for the end of War Week, the famous Armored Castle Battle kicked off the melees of this year's war. In this first full-scale melee of the War, the heavy fighters of the Known World met in the castle at the base of Mount Eislinn.
Thousands of fighters, archers, and siege crew were on the field Monday morning as they met for combat. The castle battle was set to be divided into two 30-minute melees, with full resurrection maintained for both sides. In the actual field were three “flag” objectives. The first was set behind the castle walls, another was walled off just in front of the gate, and the third was at the middle of the main battlefield surrounded by debris.
When both armies had assembled on their opposing sides, commanders came together and began relaying commands. Troops moved in a semblance of orderly confusion, trying to fill in their places. The army of Æthelmarc faced off against the East to take the castle, while below, the rest of their arrayed forces clashed for control of the other two flags, and for the gatehouse of the fort.
Early on in the battle, it was evident that HRM Timothy and the red army did not approve of the East-Middle alliance laying claim to the “throne” of the castle. A line was formed to push back any attempt to roll downhill and take the flag. Archers were given a general order to seize the towers of the castle and unleash a hail of arrows upon the purple fighters beyond the castle walls. Outside the walls, the other two objectives were heavily contested by clashing infantry.
As many marshals observed, the fighting was “overall clean and courteous,” although several holds were called. Fighters from across the kingdoms wrestled for control of the flags. A glance from high above would have revealed “uniform battle lines beneath and above the castle walls for much of the fighting, as the East and Middle attempted numerous surges to break the assembled line of the red army.
Æthelmarc and Her Allies' claim to the throne-flag was undisputed, and the flag closest to the gatehouse was held by staunch defenders. The furthest flag was claimed by the purple forces, but at 2-1, the first War Point went to the red army.
The second battle began after a short break, allowing the armies to water, rest, and glean ammunition before switching sides. The cannon went off before both sides were quite ready, but the fighters took this in stride.
This melee showed a renewed desire on the part of the East-Middle forces to seize the throne. Even as HRM Timothy watched from beside the flag as his lines formed, HRM Omega of the East brought his men in for ferocious charges that bowed the red lines time and again. Outside, the purple forces took a solid hold on both of the field objectives. As Sir Gareth of Æthelmarc remarked, “the gate and [the flag] were heavily contested” for most of the battle.
To the marshals observing and the fighters participating, this battle was a much closer game. Sir Aiden and Sir Yoshi of the East-Middle army agreed that “fighting on both sides was honorable and fierce.” In regard to the actual tactics employed, these members of the chivalry were sure that while both armies employed similar tactics and made excellent use of the terrain, execution was not always equal.
The result of the second battle came down to the final minutes of fighting in the field, as the throne's flag remained in the hands of HRM Timothy. Beyond the walls of the castle, the East and Middle secured a flag for themselves, and had been holding the other for some time. However, a desperate and unrelenting charge by red forces secured the final flag. This allowed Æthelmarc's alliance to once again score a 2-1 victory, bringing them another War Point.
On this second day of War Week, Æthelmarc and Her Allies secured another 2 War Points in Armored Combat.