Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kender

2009 Blood Games After-Action-Report!

Recommended Posts

August 21-23, We trekked out to the Blood Games.

 

Dave (Chang Tsu)

Dan (Atticus)

Scott (Zander)

AJ (Vincent)

Rick (Dren)

Steve (Grog)

Phi (Gaius)

 

 

I'm still exhausted, but I'd like to hear everyone else's opinions of the weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was everything I expected it to be. How did we do in the final count?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We ended up teaming with CRO and lost on points, sadly, because one of the other teams got EVERY OTHER faction there to ally against us and CRO. BUT we did impress everyone by amassing 35 tokens on our own with only mostly AJ, Rick, Steve, and I doing most of the token gathering grunt work. For a team of 4 new people adapting to a new style of combat with less then optimal equipment for it, that's apparently really good.

 

So, while we lost on a technicality, when we took the field for the Grand Melee at the end we won in under 5 minuites. It was a slaughter. While we lost the points, it's pretty clear who won in spirit.

 

Several of the people there expressed an interest in coming out to play at KoN to experience how we roll. They'll probably be joining the forums here to check us out. Those that I talked too seemed really really interested in trying something new.

 

Over all we made an outstanding impression on them on all fronts. We looked slick, fought very well, and showed excellent OOC sportsmanship. They want us back next year and I do honestly think we should send a team out again in a year.

 

Also seems we solidified at least one other LARP moving to Latex weapons as a preferable option, thanks to Dave for having his stall there and letting them see and handle, and the rest of the team for dispelling in combat some of the myths of latex style weapons.

 

We only had a few instances of where our combat system was a problem not being lightest touch. Two where NPCs making mention of it (Not bad complaints, just a gentle warning to remember the style of game), the the last was an accident involving an NPC, but there where no complaints there, I just felt really bad about it (knee jerk reaction to having a weapon swung at me and forgetting for a half second it was such a light touch and ended up putting too much force behind the weapon, enough to be considered acceptable with us, but ended up powering through the attack.).

 

Couple of thoughts when comparing their style to ours:

The only people generally able to keep up with us on a normal basis where the CRO guys. When you put our style of play next to most of the other games there, generally we look hyper-aggressive. Not in a "People are really going to get hurt" way, but more in that we're willing to take chances and press the attack.

 

The costuming was okay at most of the people I saw. Most would be passable (at least the fantasy ones, don't get me started on the sci-fi guys at a mostly fantasy game. Looked neat, just out of place) for a new comer to our game. A few made me blink and wonder what the hell game they where from, and not in a good way. The only thing that made me tick really hard was the combat gear of most groups, but that's probably because of our requirements and I'm picky about taking good care of my weapons and armor (treat them well and they'll keep you alive, and a breaking down/really worn burrito boffer just looks nasty).

 

Our NPC/PC shift system was a new idea to most people there, and they seemed shocked that our sight fee was only $20 and that covered everything, but it didn't seem to dissuade anyone wanting to take a look at us.

 

Tap blocking is the suck when you are used to fighting like we do. Took some getting used to, but once we got the hang of it the game shifted in balance. Apparently we have some damned fine technical fighters who can use finesse and skill to beat their opponents.

 

Over all it was a lot of fun. There was enough non-combat stuff going on to keep the less combative people occupied, but the stick jocks could do fighting at any time with anyone, and there was enough combat games going that we could stay busy pretty easily. The number of NPC players was lacking, but then most people that go want to help their Realm win or put on a good show, so it was understandable (and the fact that PvP is highly encouraged). The other players we talked to want us to come back next year, as do the staff, so I'd say we did damn good representing our game there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What group was CRO; did any of us take pictures; and do we know if the Blood Games website will be putting up candids/awards for those that participated? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tap Blocking is the dumbest combat ability I have ever seen. It makes the most tentative, and unskilled fighters something to worry about. With Tap Blocking the dumbest combat styles (that many of us usually laugh at) become dangerous and effective. The only thing that actually sucked this weekend was the Tap Blocking.

 

As far as the game itself I had a good time. I met with some people I'd enjoy seeing at another time. The CRO guys were especially entertaining. The Game Runners had to adapt the game for multiple, different LARPs so while the rules could easily be cheesed its not something they could easily prevent and still keep their players happy.

 

Mostly this weekend was a chance for me to reinforce the fact that I Love Novitas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There should be a video of the grand melee at the end (or at least a link) on their website, I think. (The half-orc/Meg had a camera)

 

Overall, it felt like a Cold War with Russia between the Dogs of War and CRO. Not a lot of people ventured away from the Inn or other safewards, which was my only real gripe with the game aside from frequent down-time.

 

However, some of the mini-games and tasks throughout the event were amazingly fun :)

 

There was a weekend-long game where you had to pick-pocket gems off of various NPCs without them noticing. It had Dren written all over it. Within the first 15 minutes I had one in my hand and for the remainder of the event they referred to me as "that thief" or "sneaky guy". Haha! In the end, with some luck and the help of AJ's contribution from the bartender, we won ourselves a permanent magic item to keep for future games. Looting ftw!

 

The heat was absolutely insane. We basted in soaked garb until we had nothing left, then some went shirtless. I think I ended up with a zorro-mask of sunburn :P . lol

 

The people were very personable and hospitable. We went into the wee hours sharing 'battle stories' of eachothers LARPs friday and saturday night. It was just really entertaining to socialize with these folks.

 

After a few fights the tap-blocking wasn't hard to adjust to. My favorite battle was the Leviathan fight where almost ALL of us had our legs crippled (maimed) and I told the NPC to pick me up and throw me in the middle of the monsters. A barrel roll or two later and I emerged from the tunnel with a handful of skins to turn in for magic items. It was an amazing feeling to be able to fend off two or even three florentine fighters because of the tap-block system! It's really cheese as far as realism goes, but it's a dual-wielder's wet dream. Honestly, we all felt bad-ass all weekend despite being newbies.

 

Another great bit of fun was the Ruins. They set up, in a large barn, a bunch of movable walls and crawlspaces and filled it with monsters. There was a time limit before you started choking on the toxic air (damage to everyone inside). In both the Leviathan fight and this one, we were given strange looks like "you sure you have enough to survive this? It's really dangerous!!", yet each time we came out alive! In fact, KoN + CRO on Friday night were the first to actually make it all the way through the ruins.

 

The whole trip was exhausting. The food was delicious (or perhaps tasted that way since we were so drained of energy). It was a real test of fortitude to last the whole weekend and still fight well in the grand melee. We really brought it to the table in that last fight. Every realm allied up against us and we rolled through them with only 2 lives lost. Epic win, in my book :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tap Blocking is the dumbest combat ability I have ever seen. It makes the most tentative, and unskilled fighters something to worry about. With Tap Blocking the dumbest combat styles (that many of us usually laugh at) become dangerous and effective. The only thing that actually sucked this weekend was the Tap Blocking.

For me, I just could not get past this. Just watching people "fight" was enough for me, I didn't even want to try it. Tap Blocking makes everything good bad, and everything bad good.

 

8' spear? Sucks. Dual daggers held upside down? Awesome.

 

The other thing that broke it for me was the number of "combat skills" that compensated for lack of ability. The worst of these were "Disarm" and "Shatter". They are exactly as bad as you think they are: Fighter A swings his weapon, taps Fighter B's shield and calls "Shatter!". Fighter B then has to drop the shield. You could have multiple Shatters, so you could just whack someone's two swords and call Shatter twice and they're defenseless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can not praise this enough. ya there were a few things i didn't care about but they didn't really drag down the fun i had. next year if we can field a bigger team (like 15 plus people) we can own this and roll through everyone. after the leviathon fight we ran across the npcs doing the encounter and they had nothing but praise for us. when they first saw us they said that they thought it was going to be a quick fight with all of us dead in under a min. we were actually wearing them down alot in the end. if they hadn't maimed us down to our knees we would have rolled them easily.

 

also i have a new found fear of aj and his spear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am tired, sore, and happy. Good people, good games. Much garb and weaponry needs improvement, but aside from that it was all in all a great time for me. I will go back next year, and I want to field a team of no less than 15. I feel with our class of fighting we may be able to provide the stronger teams with a sufficient challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can somebody explain how this Tap-Blocking thing worked? It sounds bizarre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can somebody explain how this Tap-Blocking thing worked? It sounds bizarre.

 

If you swing a weapon at an opponent and their blade touches it at all, then damage is negated.

 

Thus, even if a heavy spear power-swings through someone's block, hits them in the arm, and knocks them over... it doesn't count as a hit.

 

Realistically, this sucks balls.

 

However, it works both ways. If you're quick with reflexes you can effectively fend off 3 people at once as long as you can "tap" their blade before it hits you. This is why 2-weapon fighting seemed so efficient and why spears were generally not as effective (except when AJ was wielding one, lol). The game relied more on speed than anything else.

 

It was bad when you were on the offense, but good when you were on the defense. All in all, everyone was on the same playing field and it worked out to be fairly balanced in practice. Yet, it's still very unrealistic and favors combat strategies that should be frowned upon.

 

Tap-blocking also seems to be the cause of a phrase I'd like to coin as "Iron feet". People become so used to blocking everything with a weapon that they rarely move their feet out of the way. With 2-weapon fighting, a majority of your kills can be made simply by tapping their weapon with one sword and hitting them in the knee with your other. It's like someone bolted their feet to the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tap Blocking is "less then optimal" in a lot of ways.

 

As Rick said, it seemed to produce Iron Feet in people, something I know I was taking advantage of by not having them. It also seemed to allow severely timid people compete with someone more aggressive with less effort. It should be a point of pride that our people once they got used to the system was able to fight as well as we did with less then optimal equipment for the system. I took Dan's Dag spear out to an event and even though that thing was stupidly large and slow I was still landing more hits then not even with tap blocking.

 

And on a side note, most of the teams there did not like the "Waaaaaggghhhh!!!" we use. I did it to an NPC and he froze up for more then enough time for me to close into his weapon's much longer range and start connecting blows. It's also why the other side in the Grand Melee didn't do as hot. CRO deployed their barbarians like they should of, screaming and running around a flank. The opponents freaked and fell WAY back and their shield wall scattered out farther then it should of to try and stop them, opening huge holes that the rest of us used to punch through and start taking out the support people. But then, this may of been a hold over from how we do NPCs. With about half the game at KoN NPCing at one time, we can do bigger fights then if we used what seemed to be the standard of about 1:3 or 1:4 NPC to PC ratio. Just imagine only having 15 NPCs all the time at Novitas. Would we ever, at that point, send out 15 orcs? Probably not knowing that there are 45 PCs waiting around, bored, ready to stab them all to death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All in all, everyone was on the same playing field and it worked out to be fairly balanced in practice. Yet, it's still very unrealistic and favors combat strategies that should be frowned upon.

This is why we will NEVER do this, and I hate games that do. "Live Action" means more to me than playing D&D in a cape. "Live Action" means that to excel at the physical activities, you need to be, well, excellent physically. There should be advantages to actually being able to fight, run, hide, dodge, disarm someone, et cetera and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is why we will NEVER do this, and I hate games that do. "Live Action" means more to me than playing D&D in a cape. "Live Action" means that to excel at the physical activities, you need to be, well, excellent physically. There should be advantages to actually being able to fight, run, hide, dodge, disarm someone, et cetera and so forth.

 

I agree entirely. The disarm, shatter, and dodge skills in any game are almost to a point where you might as well just sit down and roll dice instead of swordfight.

 

I would, however, like to say that (ignoring the combat system) there were some decent fighters. What I hope for is that those who were at the games (and can gather decent garb) will come visit our game and enjoy themselves as well. They have the speed, so we should welcome CRO and others to come do to our system what we did to theirs: adapt and make a good name for themselves.

 

We were a great team and we did well given our numbers, but I don't want to sound arrogant or better than anyone just because they are brought up on a different game style. The folks at Blood Games deserve some credit considering that they're merging everything from nearly-parlor LARP and beyond into one common system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i learned that if we ever go out there again, i'm taking the broken skills.

 

Whippy fighters who don't take their hits can't really avoid it when they don't have anything to block with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shatter is broken.. I know that without my sheild, my defensiveness and ability to stay alive drops... alot. And if your opponent has a shield? then you just lose...

 

But thats part of the game :P

 

glad we dont use it. But it can be fun to do it once in a while... I mean its only broken if only one fighter is using it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shatter became my best friend at this game. Broken? Yes. Fun to see the look on the shieldman's face when I used it on them with my spear in hand? Yes. I think that once you get used to it, a team of about 15 of us can destroy all, and take the trophy home. I can only think of how disgusting our faster fighters can be in a tap block system, and cry. Does tap blocking suck? Absolutely. I think given what the guys at the Blood Games are trying to do, which is create a system where a VERY wide spectrum of games can come together and compete using the same rules, they did a good job. You can't keep everyone happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

have to agree with rick and aj here. the blood games incorporate many different larp systems from all over the place. some systems are more roleplay then combat while others are the opposite but everyone adapted quite well to the system and in my opinion all the negative things were far outwieghed by all the good things. but i also have to say that on paper and readimng about this stuff is far different then actually experiancing it. next year i highly recommend that everyone come out and do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found that a shieldman who gets his shield shattered is upset and only has a sword to fight back with. My idea was to shatter his sword and then he looks sad can't fight back and may even cry.

 

 

If this ever happens to be something I go to again I'm gonna take shatter twice and maybe some of the other skills. Honestly the tap blocking lets you rhino hide like a master so Dual Daggers, Shatters (plus disarm and maim), and a crazy bloodlusting group would be set all weekend. You don't need armor, body or healing if you can touch your opponents weapon with your own so why waste the points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This "tap blocking" sounds ridiculous...

 

Although sometimes in KoN I wish it were true because I find myself making a nice block with my weapon only to have someone slide it up my blade and tap my arm lol.. Sounds like everyone had a great time though. Would be interesting to see some pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, bring the right group of us and watch all hell break loose. Like I said, I really want to bring a team of 15 next year, including the remainder of the Wolves. Can you picture the rain of pain Brigidt would bring?

 

I'm guessing they'll have pictures and a video of the grand melee up soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You don't need armor, body or healing if you can touch your opponents weapon with your own so why waste the points.

 

In some cases, you'd be right. However, there were several times where if I didn't soak a 5-damage hit it would've been a whole different outcome. If you can't at least soak a single max-damage hit, it'd be like coming to KoN with 2 body and your limbs count as torsos for the purpose of wounds. It made a huge difference in the Ruins and the Leviathan battle soaking that damage (Especially since you can't disarm or shatter claw weapons). Many times, they'd hit you for 5 thinking you were going to fall like a ton of bricks, only to find out they're now wide open for an attack. Tap-blocking is great for survival, but everyone who played last weekend fell at one point or another. To say it'd be a waste of points for defense is like saying you're invincible. Eventually, an attack gets through :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On skills:

 

I think I did really really well with none of the "combat skills". No extra damage, no Shatter, no Disarm. My build was fairly simple. All Weapons, All Shields, Florentine, 2 Body Plus, Medium Armor. Nothing fancy. I went out there with my axe and mace for most of the fights and had, in my opinion, a damn good damage output. I'll admit had I had some of the combat skills I'd of used them, but you don't -need- them there. The only things I would of changed is had I known how hot it was going to be there I'd not bothered with the armor and taken more Body or something. Being able to take that 5 is pretty important and damn was it hot out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×