Across the Line

27 Mar 2014 by gebhard, 2 Comments »

northshieldIn years past, the Armored Ravine battle at Gulf Wars has been my least favorite melee.  Last year, it may have been the worst time I’ve ever had in armor. However, this year the Ravine was probably the most fun I’ve had in armored (and rapier) melees.

While I recount last year’s Armored Ravine battle, keep in mind I get hit in the head a lot, so my memory may not be completely accurate. Before the war began, I went in knowing that our Unbelts team needed more polearm fighters for the year, so I decided I would take a polearm into all melees to get as good as I could with the weapon, in hopes of making the team.

So I took out my polearm and, within seconds of the start, learned I was a crossbow bolt magnet. There were about 80 shieldmen on each side. And, about 250 combat archers on each side.

I would walk up to the line and zzzzzttt….Thump! “O.K, good”

zzzzt Thump! “I said good!”

A couple steps towards rez…zzzttt THUMP! “In the back?”.

A couple more steps zzzztt THUMP.  “Yep… I’m still dead.”

I was hit in the back while walking to resurrection point, then hit again on the resurrection point, hit yet again a foot away from the resurrection point, then hit once more in the back again. Even our water bearers took a few stray shots.  I’m pretty sure a bolt even found a way to hit me in the porta-potty.

Needless to say, that battle was not a great deal of fun. It was mostly me wearing out my shoes and nearly breaking an ankle as I paced between rez and somewhere close to, but never quite making it back to, the line.

However, the same battle this year was one of my best experiences in melee during the war.

Why? I’ll share a story from the line as an example. Around the middle of the battle, I noticed Northshield was setting up for a charge into us. I grabbed a couple shield guys around me for a counter charge. When Northshield rushed out, we hit them back. Eventually, their charge and our counter charge degraded to myself and one lone Northshield fighter Ajax (I later learned from his Knight, Count Hagan).  We traded a few blows in impromptu singles combat. Before a decisive blow could be dealt, a hold was called.

After the hold, we both smartly rejoined our lines and new shieldmen flooded in to the fill the gap. Ajax did an awesome job of holding the line and keeping himself alive and in place to assist as he could throughout the battle.

I would also like to compliment Logan of Trimaris.  He was a spearman who was eager and energetic. I did my best to cover him when he jumped out. Over time time he’d tap me, “Shield let’s go”.  As a shieldman, the best compliment you can get is a spearman looking to work with you.

What made this that made this melee the most fun of the war for me? It wasn’t the lack of combat archery, there were still plenty of bolts flying around. You know how in melee you always have that guy (you know what I mean). Being across from Northshield, I didn’t experience any of the “that one guy” problems.

As Count Tom pointed out later, Midrealm and Northshield have similar tactics and hit calibrations. We didn’t have to worry about someone not taking a hit or going crazy.  Instead, it was just hard clean fights.

I have to agree. That is exactly what I had, and a great time. I hope my brothers in the North feel the same.

Image5Both Images Taken by: Rannvæig Ørraärmr Eskilskona

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  1. Steve Muhlberger` says:

    Nice story well told.

  2. Tom Tinntinnabullum says:

    I feel quite safe in saying that fighting across from our brothers from the middle was probably the high point of the war for many Northshielders. Wonderful hard fought battle. I just wish the whole war had been us facing you guys.

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