Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I've fought in 89 Crown Tourneys and I'm still not a Duke.

This one was pretty awesome in a lot of ways. The fighting was beautifully intense, the local group was amazingly welcoming, the drive up and back through the Adirondacks quite pleasant, I had great travelling companions--William McCrimmon and Astrid Olafsdatter, I got to eat a double Teen burger and a root beer float at A&W Canada: it was a fun trip.

I also fought very well. I didn't do what I wanted to do--win--but I did a lot. I probably fought as well in this crown as I have in any since I moved here, even the two wherein I went to quarter finals.

There were three dukes and myself in the list, so each of us got seeded to separate pools. (the dukes were Conrad, Edward, and Omega). I finished first in my pool, undefeated, to make it into the round of sixteen. I then went three more rounds, to the round of twelve, before getting knocked out by Evaldr. My strategy was first, to stay alive--if you are the one alive at the end of the lists you've won. My other strategy was to fight a mostly defensive fight and keep everything simple.

Best to talk about the two fights I lost first. I lost to Evaldr and to Cullyn--two fighters whom I can beat as often as not (at least when Cullyn is fighting sword and shield as he was Saturday, and not polearm). I was a bit disappointed with those losses, but less so when both of them went to semi-finals.

Cullyn was doing what I was trying to do, only he was better at it. He was fighting a completely defensive fight, and mostly throwing one blow--a diagonal off side cut (a roverso fendente). He may have thrown a snap or two and a leg shot, but not at me. In the video, I think he throws one leg shot, and all the rest are off side shots aimed at my head or right shoulder. It was perfect. I probably should have been more aggressive--but being aggressive against him was what got me killed. I also should have attacked his off side. The video below is of Omega vs. Edward, but I can be seen fighting Cullyn in the background. It gets pretty much all of our fight including my death.

My fight with Evaldr had a bit more action in it. Although I didnt feel tired I think I was getting there, because I got sloppy as the fight went on. I also got increasingly frustrated, and trying to be trickier and trickier. At first I'm being very economical. Then I throw a stutter wrap (which almost get him) then I throw a stomp thrust, then (not necessarily in order) a spinning back hand, a thrust of a fake, a thrust off an off side, and a hook thrust. Most of them he voided by moving, primarilly to his right. Catching him going to his right was how I killed him at Birka.

I don't have video of my fight from the round of 16 (at least I haven't found any).

In my pool (of which there is no video because Tally, who took all the video I've seen so far, was fighting), I was fighting very well. I killed three knights, some very good unbelted fighters, and went undefeated. Of course, there are pools and there are pools: William's pool had both the finalists and one of the semi finalists in it. He went 3 and 5 and should probably be pretty satisfied. I would have had real trouble making it out of that pool.

The knights I fought in my pool were Luis, Antonio, and Sir Gareth Grey de Wilton from Tir Mara. 

My fight with Gareth was very satisfying and very old school. He was using a heater fought in a high open form. I saw this and kind of grinned. I took his leg with that Martin the Temperate leg shot (resting sword on shoulder, elbow straight out, wrist curled under, just fold the elbow into the ribs, open the wrist, and let the sword snap into the leg). Then I killed him with Fast Eddie's direction change shot, which has been working a lot for me lately. (Miss an off-side head shot, curl the pinky finger around so the sword does a really quick teardrop return, and hit him in the head). 

My fight with Antonio was long and hard. I eventually took his leg (dont' recall how) and then killed him. I know I planned, if I took a leftie's leg, to use Gui's punching shot to set up my attacks, which worked for me against Tycho recently, but I didn't. I didn't want to close range that tightly against him. 

Against Luis I got him with a body thrust. He fights with a Dane ax as his left hand weapon, going for punches or thrusts to the face, but I crossed him up. He thought I was going to throw a high body thrust that looped in from his left, but--as he stepped forward with his right shot and threw a snap, moving his ax to block what he thought I was doing, I threw a low-line body thrust from below and he ran right onto it. *snicker* 

I don't remember the details of my other fights, really. I double killed with a buckler fighter, who bit on my rising snap but hit me with an off side at the same time. I killed Tally with a shot straight down the middle that I hid behind my shield after I'd taken his leg. Not sure about There was tall lefty I hit with a double tap to the off-side head. All of that is kind of a blur. 

The lists as a whole were frighteningly savage. Watch the videos Tally shot of Semis and finals to see what I mean. 

I left a lot on the field. I know because my shoulders still ache from the effort four days later and my knees were weak on Sunday. I won my pool--undefeated, I killed three knights, I went to the round of 12, and I lost to the two semi finalists, who were having career best days. It was a good Crown and I'm pretty proud of how I did. 

It is 64 days until Pennsic. My next time in armor will be sometime next week. 

No comments: