Fort Invasion Opens Rapier Combat
By: Lady Noelle de la Plume
This year’s La Rochelle battle plan was to invade the fort quickly and make it fall. The teams were picked at random and the orange tape team won with a time of 12 minutes 36 seconds whereas the other team did it in 14 minutes 10 seconds.
Historically speaking, La Rochelle was overtaken by sheer numbers on the attackers’ side. Therefore in the La Rochelle battle at Pennsic, the attackers get unlimited resurrections whereas the defenders only get two.
Countess Adriana of Acre, an armored fighter, just authorized in rapier this year. She killed four people with a gun before she got out her rapier and she “absolutely loved it.” She has fought over 20 years as an armored fighter.
The recreation of the La Rochelle battle has been run for the past 12 years and was is of the few in which they do not split up the sides by kingdom. Fencers can team up with people from opposite kingdoms whom they only get to see at Pennsic. The fight continued until everyone on the inside was killed. This year there were about 90 fencers on each side. The marshal-in-charge was Warder Anton du Marais this year.
The battle begins by the attackers placing a petard at the main gate and the marshals yell, “there was an earth-shattering kaboom.” A petard was a small bomb used to blow open gates on fortifications, usually made out of a church bell. However, this petard bared an uncanny resemblance to a mini-keg of beer. If the petard got hit with rubberband guns, whether in transition or not, then it blew up and anyone standing within a few paces was killed.
Dragos Potcoaba from Atlantia was also a first time rapier fighter and was excited to report that when he was inside the fort he was one of the last people standing.
After the first two battles, a third battle was held with the fencers with the highest award in rapier in their kingdom against the world, which ended up with a tie. They were down to two defenders and three attackers when they ran out of time.
The main technique for the defenders was to create a kill pocket in front of the main gate. After the gate was blown, they would walk up to the gate and line up in an arch around the gate, killing the attackers as they came through. Since the attackers had unlimited resurrections, the defenders tried to only hit the legs to limit their mobility and block more fencers from coming in.