Monday, July 4, 2011

More on West Kingdom June Crown

Finally, after two weeks I'm able to sit down and write more about Western crown.

1.) This is Rolf's ninth royal reign, five as King and four as Prince of Cynagua. His first reign was as Cynagua's second prince in AS XV (1980). Thirty-one years ago. His first reign as king was AS XVIII (1983). Twenty-seven years ago. His accomplishments rank with those of any duke at this point. Plus, I've been fighting Rolf since the day I first put on armor, right up to fighting him in the warm up melee this last crown, and I've still never beaten him. That was kind of amusing. I had just killed Sir Collin MacLear and Rolf had killed someone else. There were two guys fighting on their knees. Rolf and I looked at each other, then at the guys on their knees. One guy (it was probably Count Alfar) killed the other and Rolf said “You wanna do this now, Val?” He is, after all, the head of my household and we were fighting out of the same pavilion and we seem to fight each other in every crown. I think we both wanted to wait until later. But finally I said “nah, lets let the the guy on his knees watch. We fought and he killed me with a short punching shot from his mace.

2.) Finally, finally, finally I was a one seed in an Western list. In the West they break the lists into four fields and place the highest ranked fighter (by precedence) in the one slot on that field, then spread the other knights and the unbelteds who are crossed over out in the bracket. There were two dukes and three counts, one of whom was unbelted, so I ended up being the one seed on my field. It has no effect on who your first round fight will be wince that’s a challenge round and ended up with one of the best unbelted fighters in the kingdom first round. Now, it was a really tough tough field, with Sig and Loy and Bjarni and Eigil and I think Geoffrey Scott in it too. But that’s the way crown should be—tough. It is an honor I have always coveted—my personal sin being vanity. I guess you could say I was a one seed last fall in the East, since in the pool play there were three Dukes and two counts, and they put me and Thorsen on the same field.

3.) Rolf fought Duke Alden in the finals. Only two dukes in the list and guess who winds up in finals. Alden is Rolf's grand-squire, and they had trained together with Sagan for years. They know each other like brothers. Alden was using a little tiny square shield while Rolf was using his usual long kite. Alden was using a neat crouching sword forward style, not unlike Torgul’s round-shield style, while Rolf still doesn't even sword block. He fights the same way he did in AS 13. In both the fights Rolf won he took Alden's leg and then worked him till he was dead. They were among the neatest finals I've seen--clean, fun, honorable, and with two great contrasting styles fought by two truly great fighters.

4.) Sig placed third, which deserves a mention.

5.) The last unbelted fighter in the list was Roger Stockton. He killed two knights and lost to Viscout Rorik (who has finaled three times in crown) and to Rolf. It was a great day for him. The top level guys can beat Roger but the rest of the Westerners haven't figured him out yet (try moving laterally guys). He has been doing well in both the East and the West, which is also worth mentioning.

6.) As I said, I fought three of Uther's guys, small bunny round versus center-grip round, big center grip kite, and center grip heater. Like Alden, when I lost my leg I lost the fight.

7.) I love using the bunny round against lefties almost as much as I love using a center-grip kite against lefties. My fights against Alfar in roses were fantastic.

8.) On Sunday we held the long delayed discussion on terminology, which naturally turned into a discussion on technique. I learned a few things.
a.) Marc (most of this is up on his website) fights primarily in long-point and creates an A-frame defense. His only other guard is a hanging guard. He fights on his toes, strikes on the side of his forward foot except when crossing laterally, and times his blows to land when his foot stops moving.
b.) Hauoc generates all his power out of movement, or so he claims: I always thought that downward counter-strike of his was with feet planted. He says he steps with every blow he throws. He discussed the philosophy of the first-fastest (guarding where your oponent's fastest shot is available), which I’ve written about.
c.) Fabian and Hauoc did offense defense drills a la Sagan, wherein they struck in time with their opponent as their strike opened up a window. I’ve been trying to be able to do that for thirty-one years now.

There was more but that is most of what I absorbed.

No comments: