|Twelve Kingdoms in Twelve Months
Event Seven: World Banner Wars
Introduction by Michael Hammer of God
I was at Banner Wars for about eight hours. I had a blast and got to see all my friends and play in the actually Banner Wars event. After that I was tired and ready for a hot shower. When I went to my Hotel there was an in room Jacuzzi and my girlfriend and I decided that eight hours was enough event. This means that I couldn’t really write a good review. I recruited my friend Zumat because he writes well, if provocatively, and was there for the whole event. My only comments were that I liked the Banner War itself better than he did. I was on the winning team, though and I have always liked full class better that he had. (Obligatory props to Dalos for Cursing the cannon and starting the Trogdor charge.) As to Zumat’s comments about the Tanglewood Forest site, I agree completely. It is the only Amtgard run event site in the country and it will very soon be the best event site in the country in every way.
Zumat wrote the rest of this article.
Bear in mind that I am just a stick jock. All observations and opinions are skewed by that. That having been said: Banner. Wars. Kicked. Ass. My car got there Friday mid-afternoon. I was immediately greeted by friendly people and did some sparring to warm up. It wasn't long before the "Steers and Queers" battle started and I wandered over to the ditch field. Mid-day Friday ditching at Tanglewood is often light, however, it always picks up towards evening when people get off work and start to arrive. Pick up it did, and it was some of the best fighting I've had in over a year. Fighting was intense, mostly clean, and most importantly light on the flurb content. As is usual when visit Tanglewood, the talent had come out to play. The field was graced with the likes of Lief, Arthon, Spynthrift, Deathstalker, and a whole slew of talent I've left out not because I don't like them, but because it would take all day to name them. These ditches are not the place for your casual fighter, only the hard-core need apply, and that's the kind of Amtgard worth playing. The ditching wound down in the early morning hours.
Saturday morning, some Wench-guild-thing served breakfast consisting of biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs, and water. It's the perfect thing to start off a day full of fighting. The Banner War was O.K., I guess, but it was very long, and it started late. The fighting in the war itself wasn't very clean, but then it never is when something is on the line, and the reeves just can't be everywhere. Saturday night trenching was good, not great like the night before, but good. Later in the evening the skin just started to get THICK so I went to "The Chosen's Wake for Johnny Cash" (may his legacy and music live forever). We talked of fighting and of trouble. We had whiskey and song and good times. The only time role-playing entered into it, is when I ran smak at The Chosen for doing it, and they ran smak back at me for the same thing. It was a hell of an event.
Grades (my choice of 8 broad categories)
Site: B+/A-. It was at Tanglewood Forest, man, 'nuff said. Really, though, Tanglewood kicks ass. Lit trench field, trees for shade in your campsites, lit trench field, bardic area far enough removed that the fighters dont have to hear that shit. There's an actual battlegame area, so you don't have to share the field, and the trench field it lit. No noise restrictions, no fire restrictions and the roads lead right up to each campsite so you don't have to hump your gear for half a mile, (don't forget a well-lit trench field). Corsicana is only ten minutes away and it's only about an hour+ to Dallas/Ft.worth. The minuses were: the insects ("whoa!! that spider just tried to squish me!!") and the other pests (though I have since learned that if you smack Justicars with a rolled up newspaper, they leave you alone). It could use more places for water than at the gate, and showers on-site would be nice, but the fee was a very reasonable 10 bucks.
Feast: A. It was on time and contained losts of dead animal, what more do you need? Breakfast? They had that covered too, those wacky EH'ers.
Court: A. Short, sweet and no awards!! The EH RULES!!!!
Ditching: A+. Refer to what I said earlier about Friday evening ditching. This was the best fighting event since Spring War, and I went to 'Rakis, Clan, and Harvest War. Like everywhere, though, when folks are tired, drunk, and Corsairs, the hide will get a little thick. Simply adjust shot power and placement accordingly.
Battlegames: C+. The Scheduled Battlegames started late and took too fucking long. The War took seven hours and we only fought four times, the fights themselves lasting less then ten minutes each. Cheese is the point of battlegames, and every single team did their best Gouda impression. Don't get mad, just remember that the reeves cannot be everywhere. These full-class activities get more pointless with each rules revision.
Other planned activities: B+. I didn't go to any, but they scheduled workshops on things like acting and astrology and tournament running. some fire-dance thing was scheduled on top of the ditching Saturday after court, and that was annoying, but everyone else seemed to like it, so I guess it was ok. Besides, we turned on the lights the second it was over and were ditching within a minute. The official, scheduled activities were not what made the event, it was things like the trenching and "The Wake" that were exciting and fun.
People and attitudes: B-. One thing sticks out in my mind. During a ditch somebody ran over somebody else, and that somebody else got up and punched that somebody. The situation was calmed down in under 5 minutes, and the somebody else was made to leave. It wasn't blown all out of proportion, nobody threw a temper tantrum, and it wasn't ignored. It was handled perfectly. Tempers rose at the war, but you have to accept that, they alway do when a win is on the line. Aside from one dude wheeling his way through some camps scoring five-finger discounts, it was an extremely pleasant place to be.
The ditching. That's the way Amtgard should play, hard and intense. Fighting beside your company bros is one of the little pleasures that make this sport my favorite. I'm still sore.
Michael, Hammer of God. That guy sucks. Nah, I'm just kidding. The worst thing was probably the length of the War. "SWEET BABY JESUS, we've been here how long? I have to go shave again!!". That kind of thing soaks up too much ditchin' and drinkin' time.
Next Event: Rosewood
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