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?