Dragon Fends off Tyger on the Bridges
By DonalBane of Blakmers
After 17 War Points:
East Tygers 11, Midrealm Dragons 6
The two Great Armies of the East and Midrealm got back to business Thursday as the bridge battle returned to Pennsic.
This year’s bridge battle was fought over five bridges with no resurrections. Possession of a majority of bridges or sweeping the field earned victory. There were three fights, each worth one War Point, and combat archery and siege weapons were in play for the third fight.
Trailing but undaunted, the Midrealm deployed its forces on the east side of the field. There was some shifting in the lines, but the Dragon deployed Ealdormere, Calontir, Ironlance and Northshield to hold the northern bridges. In the center, Æthelmearc, North Oaken and Pentamere were deployed, while House Darkyard, Trimaris, House Darkmoon and House Ironwolf anchored the southern defenses. South Oaken was held in reserve.
Eager to press their advantage in the war, the East deployed its Northern and Southern Armies to the north. Atlantia anchored the defenses in the center. To the south, Black Talon, House Clovenshield, Meduseld and the Western Coalition manned the bridges. The Tuchux and the Ulsterblichen were held in reserve.
The first battle saw both sides eager to get into the fight, leading to see-sawing battle lines on nearly every bridge. The Midrealm forces on the northern bridges were able to maintain their lines and hold on throughout the battle.
Meanwhile, the southern bridge saw the most action. A determined charge anchored by South Oaken forces drove the East’s allies nearly off the bridge. However, the situation reversed when the Ulterblichen committed to the fight. House Bloodguard led a charge that pushed the Midrealm forces back the length of the bridge and allowed for a brief breakout. However, the cannon to end the battle sounded before the Ulsterblichen could roll the field.
There was a dispute on the southern bridge, as somehow Sir Elizabeth of House Darkmoon managed to slide back to the middle of the bridge after the East forces had rolled off of it. The marshals ruled the bridge was contested. It mattered not, however, as Midrealm forces held the other four bridges to claim the fight and the War Point.
In the second fight, the East switched to a counter-attacking strategy. The Tyger held huge reserves back off the bridges and allowed the Midrealm forces to assault them.
The strategy worked to perfection. After about 20 minutes of fighting, the Tuchux forced the Midrealm forces on the south central bridge to the breaking point. As the Midrealm committed their final reserves to plug the hole, Eastern forces began a huge push on each bridge.
It was the Ulsterblichen that broke the Midrealm lines, as they powered through the wavering defenses on the south central bridge, mopped up the remaining forces on the south bridge and turned north.
A tide of Eastern warriors swept north and the end came when a determined force from Ironlance, Northshield and Calontir was surrounded and destroyed. The East took the second fight and War Point.
The third fight saw neither side anxious to overcommit, which led to mass targets for the various combat archers and siege weapons. For the first 25 minutes, the battle was largely confined to skirmishes and warriors trying (and failing) to avoid arrows and ballista bolts.
This time, the East found most of its success on the northern bridge, which it held at the end of the battle. Midrealm forces held firm on the central and north central bridges.
The two southern bridges were in dispute at the final cannon, but both final fights went the way of the Midrealm. On the south central bridge, a force of Æthelmearcians rolled over an outnumbered force of Tuchux and House Clovenshield. The southern bridge saw the renewal of the ancient rivalry between the Bloodguard and Darkyard. Darkyard led a push that knocked the Bloodguard off the bridge, claiming the final bridge and the War Point for the Midrealm.
HRM Radagaisus of the Midrealm addressed his jubilant forces after the battle.
“The day is ours,” HRM Radagaisus. “We are well-pleased with our army. We know you dug deep for us this day and we thank you for it.”
HRM Edward of the East also was pleased afterwards.
“It’s been a well-fought war on both sides so far,” HRM Edward said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Friday’s Big Battle: The Field Battle
On the last day of fighting at Pennsic, it’s main event time. This year’s field battle will be three, last-man-standing, no resurrection fights. Combat archery and siege weapons will be allowed in the last fight. Their Majesties also are planning two friendship battles after the War Point battles.
Note: There will be no Pennsic Independent Saturday, but full reports from the field battle and a summary of the War will be available at www.pennsicindependent.com that day.
As always, VIVAT! HOOBAH! WASSAIL! and HUZZAH! to all the warriors of the Known World.