By DonalBane of Blakmers
Battlefield Reporter, Pennsic Independent
After six War Points: East Tygers 5, Midrealm Dragons 1
The Grand Armies of the East and Midrealm met for the first time at Pennsic XL in the Valley Battle under cloudy skies Monday morning.
This battle was a 90-minute, unlimited-resurrection affair with the two Grand Armies fighting over three banners in the center of the field. The three banners were placed between two large “mountains” in the field with a river running between them.
Victory would be earned by the side that possessed the most banners at two time checks and at the end of the battle.
Per tradition, the Tyger’s forces lined up on the west side of the field. The East appeared to have the superior numbers as HRM Lucan deployed the Tuchux, the Bog Alliance, Atlantia and other elements to the north, Æthelmearc, the Northern Army and other allied kingdoms in the center with House Bloodguard, An Tir and others deploying to the south.
Outnumbered but determined, the Dragon deployed its forces on the east side of the field. HRM Arch deployed Ealdormere, Ansterorra, Drachenwald and Calontir to the south, with the bulk of the Midrealm army positioned in the center. Forces from Pentamere, the Darkyard Legion, the Free Company of Ironlance and the Mercenary Union were seen in the north.
At the sound of the cannon, both sides engaged in a mad sprint to the banners. Elements of the Northern Army and the Barony of Flaming Gryphon — who were decked out in distinctive pink tabards in support of breast cancer research — were the first to clash swords in the Valley.
The fight in the center of the field wavered back and forth, but both sides stayed relatively close to the banners.
That was not the case on the flanks. To preserve its manpower, the Midrealm attempted to set up two diagonal skirmish lines extending from the base of each mountain.
The tactic seemed to work well on the south side of the field. Ansteorra and Calontir were able to hold up against repeated charges from the East’s forces, although the East gained some ground as the battle went on.
To the north, however, the Dragon’s forces were simply too few to withstand what seemed like a tidal wave of blue warriors. Within five minutes, the Tuchux were pushing into the skirmish line until it was almost parallel with the mountain. Eastern forces were soon on top of the Midrealm resurrection point.
The jaws of the vise slowly squeezed on the Midrealm army until elements of the East’s northern wing were able to squeeze through the gaps and assault the Midrealm forces in the center from behind.
This tactic succeeded in pushing the Midrealm forces off the banner, but the Dragon was able to maintain a solid force in the center valley for the full 90 minutes.
At the first time check, the East held possession of the northern and center banners, while the south banner was in dispute. By the second time check, however, the East held all three banners and it did so at the end of the battle as well. With an 8-0-1 advantage in banners, the East claimed the battle and two War Points.
HRM Lucan commended his forces for a job well done and employed them to do the same at today’s battle.
“I’m so very proud of our forces,” HRM Lucan said. “ The teamwork they displayed was great to see. The tenacity of the Midrealm and its allies at the [banner] points was excellent. We lucked out.”
Today’s Big Battle: The Woods Battle
The Pennsic original returns Tuesday at 10 AM for the second year at its new home, located just north and west of Mount Eislinn. This year’s battle will be fought over one banner for 90 minutes with unlimited resurrections. As the Midrealm currently trails in War Points, the Dragon will have the honor of placing the banner. Two War Points will go to the side that possesses the banner after 90 minutes.