Rapier Town Battle
By Lord Dominic Seamor
Martial Reporter, Pennsic Independent
Swift blades flashed in the warm sunshine Monday afternoon as an estimated 400 rapier fighters struggled for a War Point in the Town Battle. The two armies were attempting to control five strategically placed banners (one to the north, one in the center building, one in the east, one to the west and one in the southern pass) in and around a straw-bale town. The placement of the buildings produced four main east-west alleys that served to focus much of the action, while numerous side streets allowed for tactical maneuvers. The battle was an hour long, with (initially) unlimited resurrections. Don Ogedei commanded the forces of the East and its allies who entered from the western edge of the field, while Warder Anton led forth the legions of the Midrealm and its numerous friends from the eastern edge. Both armies fought under the eyes of their respective Royals, with the banners of many other lands also flying in the wind.
Throughout the battle the main action centered on the northern and central banners. The east and west banners were never in serious contention. The Eastern forces took possession of the southern banner soon after the starting guns blasted and held that banner for the entire engagement with a wall of steel blades. But such was not the case in the center and the north. While the East initially took both these positions, they soon lost the northern banner to a superb flanking maneuver from Midrealm troops advancing up the north-central main alley who first pushed back the Eastern defenders and then turned the corner and trapped the guard of the northern banner between themselves and the main Midrealm force advancing on the northernmost alley. That was the first time the northern banner changed hands on that day. It was not the last. The northern banner changed hands approximately eight times during the battle, making it the most contested piece of the entire struggle.
The fighting was just as hot in the center, where the banner was located inside a building, which made the doorways into that building the focal points of the fight. The Eastern army did not hold the center banner for long, being pushed out in the first ten minutes of fighting. The Dragon army set up a strong defense of the central banner that withstood attack after attack. The flow of casualties to resurrection seemed endless. At the halfway point of the battle the Eastern commanders gathered a host of the resurrected and finally gained access to the center building. There was little tactical maneuver possible at the doorways, just a battle of attrition where the superior numbers of Eastern fighters told. The East regained the central position and never lost it again.
At the second planned scoring hold, while the blessed waterbearers delivered their gifts to the thirsty soldiers, it was announced that the combination of heat and humidity made it necessary to change the last part of the battle to a no-resurrection format. To a man and woman, the tired, sweaty fighters expressed their willingness to continue under the original rules of engagement but the chiurgeons, marshals and Royals remained adamant.
When the fighters resumed their struggle, the lack of more lives to lose did not make the hosts of the Midrealm shy of their foes. Warder Anton knew that he must gain two of the banners to have any hope of victory, and he personally led his fighters forward into the battle. All along the line the Midrealm pushed hard against the enemy. Warder Anton fell leading a charge but the loss of their captain only put more fire into the fighters following him.
Sadly, it was not enough. Though the Middle Kingdom army came close enough to the southern and central banners to almost touch them, Don Ogedei and his Eastern fighters slew any foe who came in reach, and the last Midrealm warrior fought and fell in honorable single combat, leaving the East in possession of all three banners, and a final score of 6 to 0, giving the War Point to the East and its valiant host.
Don Ogedei said that his allies deserved special thanks for the quality and quantity of their warriors, particularly naming the Atlantians and Ansteorrans as “absolutely fierce.” TRM Edward and Marguerite of the East also thanked their heroic allies, and then led their army in three hearty “Vivats!” for their honorable and hard-fighting Midrealm foe.