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Okay, I have been lost in space for the past couple of weeks, but here I am with a belated weekend recap and some random thoughts.

Saturday, we went to Stierbach Baronial Birthday, where I ran the rapier tourney. It was a format concocted by yours truly years ago, which seems to be getting better and better as time goes by. What I mean by that is that the rules keep getting more entertaining and more practical every time I run it.

Basically, it is what I call a "missmatch" tourney, with an element of luck attached to it in the form of a deck of cards. And because there is an element of luck, it is a bear-pit as I feel that it would not be fair to the fighters to make them win or lose due to fate and for them not to have the chance to line up and try again.

In other words, opponents cannot match forms, and the first choice of weapons goes to the fighter who draws the higher card. The idea behind this is to get folks out of their comfort zone and have them try something different. Lately, what you are going to see in tourneys is lots of rapier and dagger, and the occasional cane. It can get monotonous, if you ask me.

However, when you have the chance to have your first choice of weapons, you get to strategize and force your opponent to use something else. If you know that said opponent has a favorite style, you can claim it as your own and he will have to fight with something else. (Heck, one new fighter discovered buckler and fell in love with it. I doubt that he'd have tried it otherwise.)

Even better, the Joker will give you the chance not only to get your first choice of weapons, but to dictate to your opponent what she's going to have to fight with. But in order to do that, you will have to entertain the crowds. If you don't, then *your* opponent has first choice and will dictate what you're going to use.

Oh, and Queen or King of Hearts are an automatic win, and King or Queen of Spades an automatic loss. It sucks, but that's why it's a bear-pit.

This type of tourney lends itself to Baronial or Queen's Champion's format, as you can get her Excellency or Her Majesty (as appropriate) to join in the fun and add all sorts of shenanigans in the name of entertainement.

All I can say is that everyone seemed to have a great time, Dom and Dante told great stories, and Syr Guy won the prize for most entertaining death, courtesy of the Gods of Infantry, all in good fun. (Oh, and pirategirleee makes a great Vanna White!)

It doesn't get much better than that.

At any rate, I did take a couple of pictures, but the one that caught the spirit of the day is the one of Her Excellency of Stierbach skipping with a bunch of roses, ready to cause mischief among the fighters.

Here it is.

Other cool stuff that happened at the event was the Capoferro class taught by Dante, which I always find useful and which I think everyone should take at least once.

On the other hand, I was a bad Pearl and an even worse Laurel, as I didn't get the chance to go see the A&S. I hear that Arghyle had a really nice chair on display. I'll get to take a look next time.

Sunday, I decided to play with dolls and worked on Margot some more. She still needed a lot of sanding, and I spent a lot of the afternoon just doing that. She still needs some more of that, and this is probably the most demanding part of it. You see, she may be made out of clay but, once the clay is cured, you treat it like wood. Which is good, as wood is what would have been used anyway.

At any rate, it is a long and tedious process which puts a lot of strain on your hands and your back. All I can say is, I can certainly understand why Susan Parris charges what she charges for her dolls.

But it is worth it.

She will still take many, many hours of work, but I know that Margot will be a fabulous doll. It will take some time, but I can't wait to finish her.

(ETC: Possibly December if I am lucky. There is still too much to do, and my work schedule doesn't help. But I'm working on it.)

And that's all folks. Other interesting things happened, but they will have to wait for another post.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
In other words, opponents cannot match forms, and the first choice of weapons goes to the fighter who draws the higher card. The idea behind this is to get folks out of their comfort zone and have them try something different.

That actually sounds like a really good drill!

It was great to meet you and I'm glad I got to see a little of the authorization process!
Jul. 2nd, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Ditto! And hopefully we will see you authorized one of these days too. :-)
Jul. 2nd, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
On mixing things up...
Way back when rocks were soft and I used to fence, it was the style at the time to use dice to determine weapons and/or bout format. One way was to fill the sides of both dice with weapons, they could be identical or they could be mixed up a bit so that the fighter couldn't end up with two empty hands or two parrying implements and no edged or pointed weapons. Another way was to put weapons forms on one of the dice and put things like "first blood" "three touches" "thrust" "cut" "all 4 limbs" "head shot" on the other. For this one you could have each combatant roll to learn both weapons and how to win the bout or you could have each roll for weapons and someone else roll for the bout type.

One of the best tournaments I entered was based on German fencing schools, one that emphasized thrusts and one that emphasized cuts. The fencers were split into the two schools and each school could only win by using the kind of attack taught in their school. The marshals were the ones who defined the teams and they knew everyone pretty well and they had the newer fighters in the school that used their strength and the more experienced fighter in the school that used their weakness. We had sharable prizes for the winning school.

Another really fun tournament which has nothing to do with mixed up weapons forms at all involved betting and was a way for the spectators to win, because it wasn't the person who won the most bouts that won the prize that day (I can't remember if we had little prizes for the tournament or not), it was the person who won the most "money" Fencers were allowed to bet on the bouts, they were not allowed to bet against themselves, but they were allowed to abstain from betting on the bouts they entered. We did it once trusting people to keep track of their own wagers and once with the MoLs keeping track of the wagers. And at one, if not both, of those events there was also a space for betting at card and board games, too. I always thought it would be fun to add foot races to the mix.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: On mixing things up...
Yeah, there are plenty of fun formats out there. :-)
Jul. 2nd, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
I really like that Viking Apron she has on. I think it's just a cool SCA "tradition."

I would liked to have seen the mischief!
Jul. 2nd, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
It's a really cool apron dress. Makes me want to make one. Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
Jul. 5th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I like the tourney format - may I borrow it and try it out over here ... pretty please?
Jul. 6th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
Absolutely! That's what it is for. :-)
Jul. 6th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
That might be true, but it is only polite to ask. Thank you for giving me the go ahead.
Jul. 8th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
And it is much appreciated :-)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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