The Forsooth Saga: Part The Third

By James Carey on May 28th, 2010 at 7:00 pm.


You may already be aware that we’ve started running an RPS Warband, er warband. After a successful induction earlier in the week, Thursday evening saw the first of what I hope will set the trend for our Training Knights, the turnout was formidable, the bloodshed biblical, the organisational chaos… inevitable. Full details after the jump.

Earlier in the week we opened The Forsooth Saga server and got about 25 people on. Not a bad start, but a huge thanks to everyone for doubling it on Thursday’s Training Knight. On the forums in the interim we’ve been getting ourselves ready for war: divvying up recruits into squads of archers, cavalry and infantry, discussing tactics, painting heraldry and so on. The plan was to get everyone who’d registered for the clan and turned up onto one side, then begin some manoeuvres against whatever publics stuck around. But with so many plucky RPS volunteers online it quickly became clear that getting the nearly full server to form obedient, drill-ready squads when there were enough arms lying around to invade China might be asking a little too much of our as-yet-undisciplined band. It was the first proper session after all. So instead we dissolved the three unit-specific chat rooms and split into two opposing teams. With our communication complications halved both sides quickly evolved some basic tactics.

My team – the auspiciously named ‘Bottom Team’ as our ad hoc Teamspeak organisation had us – were the Viking-like Nords in our first map, all axe and beard. We soon established ourselves as the more aggressive team, advancing our near indestructible Huscarl shield walls into the increasingly cagey Top Team’s ranks, driving them deeper into the more defensible buildings surrounding their spawn with every round. Nord Huscarls, with their fearsome war axes and super-tough round shields, make formidable hand-to hand troops, and as an organsied block they’re hard to beat. This lead to some early dominance by the Bottom Team, despite cunning and surprisingly organised feints and flanking manoeuvres by the Top Team, and set the tone for the rest of the evening. As the maps changed Bottom Team seemed to default to aggressive tactics, while the Top Team became more and more defensive, culminating in a full blown castle siege (OK that was just a quirk of the game modes, but it was fitting). That’s not to say things were one sided. The Bottom Team may have fallen into the attacking role, but we didn’t always win. At one point we reached such a stalemate that both sides agreed it would be better to decide the round by nominating a champion to send out into single combat, rather than walk the remainder of both sides into a slaughter. Of course, as soon as said champion was forthcoming he was pierced with enough arrows to pattern a felon’s pajamas, but still…


As it turns out this was actually a brilliant turn of events for a first training session as we were able, as an entire group, to develop both defensive and offensive strategies for the maps we managed to play. It’s now clear we have the numbers to form a serious and well structured army, with enough infantry, cavalry and archers to field sizeable squads of each, but we’ll only pull it off if we can wrangle the sheer volume of recruits into ordered units. There’s more detailed discussion of the night’s events, and much chewing of tactical fat, on the forums. Why not drop in and give us your two copper pieces?

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40 Comments »

  1. Torgen says:

    mmm, crossbows….

    Now I just have to figure a way to scare up $30 in a one income household. :P

  2. Alex Bakke says:

    Also, in 30 minutes or so check out my report of the training knight, complete with around 100 screenshots.

    I’ll probably cut it down a bit.

  3. westyfield says:

    Gnnnhhhrgghhhhh. Trying very hard not to buy this game.
    Think of the exams, westy. The exams…

  4. Javier-de-Ass says:

    why isn’t this about two worlds or two worlds two

  5. Berzee says:

    Teh crossbow is stolen from Timeshift.

    • westyfield says:

      no wuz stolen from cod black ops lol

      (It hurts to type like that.)

  6. Seras says:

    damn you, you guys are making it impossible to resist the lure of this game.

    will probably grab it this weekend to join next week’s mayhem

  7. LordCraigus says:

    Sounds really exciting, as a lot of people seem to have said, this is getting really hard to resist.

  8. alway says:

    Was quite fun, especially with the chatter in TS. Organized tactics make the multiplayer so much more enjoyable than the usual brownian motion of headless chickens.

  9. Carra says:

    So euh, doesn’t everyone want to be a knight?

    • Entropy says:

      I hate being cavalry. Four legged buggers are annoying to control. I much prefer being a ground pounder, or an archer

    • Ravenholme says:

      @ Entropy

      I don’t mind being calvary, but much prefer being Infantry or Archers.

      But yeah, was great fun, even if our team was mostly on the defensive (Except when we were besieging that castle as Swadia, and maybe beyond that, but I left at that battle)

    • alway says:

      Cavalry is actually the least popular option among our players. Probably because they have a tendancy of dieing quickly.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Probably for the best that cavalry is the least popular. Tactically speaking it’s the most niche role so we need fewer of them.

      Not to say it’s any less essential of course. I’m pretty sure the reason the Bottom Team defaulted to attacking was partly because almost the entire cavalry squad’s contingent joined it, giving us an immediate early game advantage by denying the Top Team the luxury of advancing across any open terrain.

      Personally I was born for the role. I’m not so great in a straight up battle, but skirmish tactics just clicked somehow (read into that what you will ;) ).

  10. Alex Bakke says:

    Clarification about the top photo: We were messing about, punching the enemy team to death with nothing on but heavy, armoured gauntlets. DarkFenix challenges me to a fight, a circle immediately forms around the two of us. I have no idea why people are blocking, though.

    • Entropy says:

      For dramatic effect?

    • DarkFenix says:

      Doubly hilarious was when a minute later one of the opposing team showed up. An infantryman, fully armed and clad in expensive armour. He took a couple of us down, then was promptly surrounded and beaten to death.

      Also hilarious on the same map was when we all took sledgehammers and nothing but. As we were lining up for a screenshot Alex killed a crossbowman spoiling the scene, which one of the non-TS’ers took as a signal and promptly crushed his neighbour’s skull. Cue chaos, within 2 seconds the whole group has descended into a clusterfuck of swinging hammers.

    • sinister agent says:

      Also hilarious on the same map was when we all took sledgehammers and nothing but. As we were lining up for a screenshot Alex killed a crossbowman spoiling the scene, which one of the non-TS’ers took as a signal and promptly crushed his neighbour’s skull. Cue chaos, within 2 seconds the whole group has descended into a clusterfuck of swinging hammers.

      That just made me laugh like a loon for nearly a minute, you swine. Damn my schedule.

  11. The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

    Completely off topic but ; WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED??

    http://www.paradoxplaza.com/games/victoria-2

    Really RPS, call yourselves an British, pc centic news site. I would be most disappointied if i wasent so deliriously happy

    • Vinraith says:

      @Telemetrics

      I love RPS, but they’re a bit hit-or-miss on the hardcore strategy stuff. I think it’s just not the niche of any of the regulars, and Tim’s not here enough to completely make up the gap.

      If you missed the Vicky 2 announcement, you might also be interested to know that Pdox announced they’ll be publishing Kerberos’ Sword of the Stars 2, as well.

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      Aye, I clocked that as well, and with Ubiks’ Magna Mundi on its way as a unique entity im dancing around the altar of paradox like a madman as of late.
      And I still need to get my hands on rise of prussia and distant worlds…..so many game…so little time

    • Vinraith says:

      @Telemetrics

      I know what you mean. I have a Paradox and AGEOD backlog a mile deep, and still need to pick up Rise of Prussia and Distant Worlds as well. It’s not like a good strategy game is something you play through quickly, either, I don’t know how I’m ever going to get back ahead of the curve with the embarrassment of riches that’s been pouring out of Paradox, AGEOD, Kerberos, Matrix, and various other strategy developers lately.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      @Vinraith:

      Sounds like there might be a job opening for you

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      Out of curiosity, does anyone know of any decent hardcore-strat/wargame/RPG news sites? at the moment ive only got sites like rpg watch and the wargamer – both are decidedly meh.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Telemetrics

      I really don’t know of one, unfortunately, I wish I did. If you find one do let me know.

      @The Pink Ninja

      That’d involve me somehow finding time to play enough of them to be able to write about them.

  12. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    That’s it I’m buying warband,

  13. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    Good stories. I played the crap out of the beta online, but for some reason haven’t bought the full game yet. I think it’s time…

  14. Bob says:

    How come my post was removed? I only linked to where to get the game £10 cheaper than Steam. Its not like it was a dodgy link! I’ve posted it before, think it was for Civ 4 and people were grateful for the link :-/

    anyway Zavvi is your friend if you want it cheap

  15. Sarlix says:

    Seriously spammers, you really should research your target audience.

    A bunch of blokes talking about other blokes lopping each others heads off with broadswords it not likely to be swayed by Christian Louboutin replica shoes.

    Further more, for the prices your charging I could easily pick up a couple of Tunics and possibly a flail two.

  16. Tom OBedlam says:

    OOOOH just what I wanted!

  17. Tom OBedlam says:

    Argh…. I have so many games to play at the moment. oh, and exams…

  18. Mario Figueiredo says:

    These things tend to happen when I’m not available. I hate you.

    Would love to participate. But for the next couple of months or so, I’ll be running on a tight household schedule.

    In any case have fun and I’ll surely be paying attention to the reports. This second installment of M&B really interested me a lot.

  19. Bob says:

    I’m just trying the demo, but whenever I talk to someone it takes about 5 secs for the menu to come up :-( Apart from that its running quite well on my old pc

  20. seras says:

    single player has an oldschool rpg feel i’m enjoying but i really do not get the multiplayer at all.

    every battle i join it’s one guy that’s 18-0 annihilating the other team….seems like there’s some ridiculous balance issues.

    and sadly timezome/lag issues will probably mean i won’t get to join the RPS events :(

  21. tyrspawn says:

    How do you guys communicate? I signed up for the clan on the forum and haven’t heard from anyone. And I don’t see TS/Vent/Mumble server info anywhere.

  22. DarkFenix says:

    We use a TS2 server for voice comms. Uh, the details were floating around somewhere, pretty sure it’s listed somewhere in the Steam community group.