This past weekend I drove to Elkin, NC with Wistric and Caelia for War of the Wings. My previous experiences with WoW have been mixed and I had not originally planned to go until probably early September. But after several friends from the northern area of the Kingdom said they were planning on going I decided to give it a go. Honestly, a few hiccups aside I had a great time. I expect we will be seeing a full scenario write up of the event over at Wistric’s melee blog sometime this week so I’m not going to go into heavy detail on them. Instead I’m going to write about what I liked about each scenario and what I’d like to see more of.

The Woods

The first rapier battle on Saturday was the woods battle. To be honest the Woods are not usually high on my list of favorite battles. But every year the WoW woods battle grows on me a little more. In fact I’ve quite enjoyed it the past two years. At this point I have a pretty good mental map of the WoW woods. The terrain is nice because there are enough trees and underbrush that you can use it to restrict fronts but there’s not so much of it that it’s a pain to run around in. I thought our team did a very good job of using terrain to our advantage. I was on our left flank most of the time and our guys used two groups of trees to limit the front and make it easier to defend the flank.

The Ruins

After the woods battle we fought in the ruins. The ruins were basically a small network of passages and rooms that they had made with plywood walls that were bolted together and staked into the ground. This replaced the castle battle we’ve had in previous years and I have to say I liked it a lot more. The network of passages made for a much more interesting limited front. Because you could fight over the walls and there were rooms off each passage you not only had to be concerned with the fighters in front of you but also the fighters in the rooms as well. Plus the plywood made for a much more effective wall than the typical hay bale. The scenario was further complicated by the fact that if you died in the passages you had to fall down and die defensively where you stood. In most of our melee scenarios if you die you can just put your swords over you head and walk out. Not here. It was good practice for our fighters who now need to not only be aware of the fighters in front of them but also the fighters who had died and not yet been pulled out by the marshals.

The Field

This year’s field battle was a little different from the typical last man standing scenario. Instead the objective was to kill the opposing army’s baron 3 times. The battle was resurrection and fought continuously until one baron had died 3 times. Although I was pretty tired by the end of the day when we got to the field battle I thought it was a great scenario. The change in objectives from previous years made it more interesting and fun. We hardly ever fight Protect the King/Baron/VIP scenarios. The only thing I wish they had done differently was making the res line darker. It was a painted pink line on the grass and there wasn’t quite enough paint to make it easy to see. Our team’s biggest problem in this scenario I think was that once they said there would be no death from behind in this battle (the other battles that day had allowed death from behind) we did not do as good of a job protecting our backfield and that’s how they killed our baron.

In the end…

All in all everyone did a great job and put up a heck of a fight. Wistric, Caelia, and I fought with Windmasters’ and Windmasters’ fought with Black Diamond. We took the first two battles and Sacred Stone took the last one. I don’t remember how the champions fell out though. In the end it was one of the cleanest, most pleasant days of melee fighting I’ve had in several years. There were no hard feelings, not really any hard hits, and good camaraderie all around. My only regret is that it was up against KWAR/KWCS and I could not attend both.

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