As I mentioned last time, I recently authorized in rapier and just last weekend got to get into my first rapier melee. I thought I would post some thoughts and reflections on the difference between the two.
At WoW 5, I was able to fight the second half of the woods battle, and then the ruins battle. My side won the woods overall, but not the battle I fought in. We lost the first ruins, won the second, and then lost the tie breaker. Then we ran the ruins twice more in another way for fun.
I brought out my 40″ sword and my two foot diameter round shield for blocking. Jauma had to leave just as I was getting in, so he handed me his rubber band pistol and half a dozen rubber bands. Archery and RBG’s were disallowed in the ruins, so I only used it in the woods.
I like the idea of “if you’re shot with ammo, pick up what killed you and bring it back to your res point.” That was really cool and I hope we could do that on the heavy side more. That way, combat archers have less to worry about when shooting expensive ammo at people who will just step on it.
I don’t like Death From Behind (there, I said it). In the woods, it seemed like most of the attacking was about trying to get around groups of people so you could DFB them. Sure, the battle wasn’t about taking ground and holding it – there were just a couple points you needed to control. However, it just doesn’t seem right to walk past a group of people fighting just so you can walk behind them and “kill” them that way. Perhaps I have French Noble’s Disease, but I’d rather join in with my comrades who are actually fighting and just help overwhelm the opponents. Also, the heavy fighter in me has an issue with my opponent calling me dead rather than me calling me dead. Hey, them’s the breaks, I’ll figure it out eventually. After about 4 DFB’s, I started looking over my shoulder quite a bit. Often, I would find someone DFB’ing my friend, and I would stab them.
I’m also not quite sure that I’m effective with an RBG. I think I spent too much time loading it, and worrying about it shooting me, or my friend, and if I should have it or my shield out… I came to the conclusion that I would load it at res point, and then stick it in my belt. The first time I was legged, everyone on the other side just ignored me, so I started reloading my RBG – so Conor the Gypsy killed me while I was reloading (a smart move, as I was going to shoot him). I think they would be really cool and fun if I had a couple people following me around reloading them and handing them forward – but I bet that’s a thought every nobleman has had since the induction of guns to the west. Also, there’s an interesting phenomenon where if someone is shot by an RBG or arrow, and doesn’t feel it, the other side will inform him politely of this and the person will take it. It’s perhaps like DFB (calling your opponent dead), but I just don’t see that as much on the heavy side. When we tend to inform someone that they have been shot, they don’t hear us, and it can get a little nasty.
Rapier fighters fight woods battles at about double the speed that heavy fighters do (or at least it looked that way). There were a lot more people running back and forth to res point than I’ve ever seen in a heavy battle. Charlotte would often pass me on the way back and forth, and I’d say “go on ahead, I’ll catch up.” (My ankle and bruised up left leg was not going to let me run anywhere, much less through that undergrowth.) At first, I got the impression that Gavin was hanging around me to make sure I didn’t get mobbed, but he eventually ran off to do crazy things behind enemy lines, and I was happy to send him off with luck and my blessing.
When we moved out of the woods to the ruins, I came a bit more into my own. First was the fun of people expecting me to get tired. One person actually said “we’ll wait for your arm to get tired of holding that large shield up…” HA! You don’t know me very well do you. My round shield is like half the weight of a heater… you can wait a long time.
Next, there was some interesting lack of tactical knowledge on the part of my fellow low end rapier fighters. At one point, Conor (that damn Gypsy) started floating out on our flanks, right along the edge of the world. Nobody did anything about it. Then, he started talking to us about it, and how he could do it as long as the marshal told him where the line was, and still nothing happened. Finally, I decided to float out there and stop this insanity. All you have to do is send one barely competition fighter out to the edge of the world and don’t let him die, and he’ll save you from being flanked (and in rapier, DFB’d). If he tries to scoot between you and your forces, kill him. I can’t be the only person to figure this out…
Also, it was pretty obvious to me after fighting the first of the ruins battles that it didn’t matter what half wall I had in front of me. It was much more important that my opponents had a less than advantageous wall behind them. I was surprised when Alric yelled over before one of the battles, “Hey Girard, take those dozen or so guys up the right side.” I’m used to command in heavy, but I didn’t expect to get it in my 2nd rapier melee scenario. Thus, I picked the spot I wanted to get to, and announced to my folks, “I want to get to at least half way!” (I mistakenly thought my spot was half way, it was more like 2/3rds of the way across). At lay-on, I dashed in quick and looked crazy while the rest of the fighters formed up in a line, but we had moved past some horrible turns and had our enemy backing into a corner. Then, it was just a matter of engaging lightly while slowly rocking forward half an inch at a time. Eventually they were all backed up on various walls and were unable to move, thus killed.
Overall, it was a fun time. I managed to only do one thing that was just horribly wrong (someone turned their back on me and I stabbed them), but I said I was sorry and they were cool with it. I did run out of a DFB before I realized that it had happened, but that was just a matter of timing and not really against the rules. I got to shoot people with a gun, stab them with a sword, and see my friends kick ass at doing it better than I. I saw my rapier champion issue orders clearly, in time to carry them out, and with a level of knowledge that really did turn the tide of some engagements. I think I was killed and killed others in about equal proportion in the woods, but I did defend a flag for about half that battle, so I helped win some points. I only took one really hard shot (in the neck) and the person just kind of drifted away, and I took another stiff shot that was really me jumping on it and not my opponent’s fault. Honestly, not a bad way to support a war effort and have some fun doing it.
Mirrored from Erminespot.