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By: Clarice D’allaines Le Compt
Rapier Reporter for The Pennsic Independent

The meat grinder of all meat grinders, the battle of La Rochelle. Attackers have unlimited resurrections while the defending team in the castle only have two resurrections for a total of three lives. La Rochelle is my favorite battle at the Pennsic War. Though it is not a War Point, it does speak for itself in terms of, “Oh my God, I’m going to die...a lot!”
Two sides: this year it was green and orange. Fencers including myself wore a band with a color on it marking what side you were on. The objective, after the “earth shattering kaboom,” is to take the castle as fast as you can by killing everyone beyond the wall and side port. As a defender, you defend the castle as best you can against a mob of screaming, charging fencers who have unlimited lives, and will inevitably kill you anyway.
Starting out behind the castle wall defending, many people charge to the kill pocket (a small semicircle of death) or the side port. Being the ambitious young fencer I am, I love to fill in where I’m needed. But when it comes to attacking, I’m all about jumping into the line of fire, (but darn those rubber band guns!), to create an opening for my fellow fencers behind me. Nothing like the feeling of unlimited death!
At the end, when all the defenders have been killed, the marshals call an end to the fighting and mark the time. We take a break and switch sides, only to do it all over again. The time it took us to take the castle, you ask? Well, the green team won by holding the castle for 11 minutes while the orange team held the castle for eight minutes. Three measly minutes and they would have had it. That, my friends, is the battle of La Rochelle.