Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Empire LARP Event 3 - Not the Face

The only two people who tell me I'm handsome are my wife and my mother; it is not a universally recognised description that is applied to me. Even so, it doesn't need to be messed up any more than normal by the application of latex-covered foam to said exposed face.

I appreciate that accidents happen. I know that in my limited experience I've swung and hit someone in the neck, or my moving sword tip has combined with a dodging player to leave a stinging spot on their cheek. I've never aimed for the head, face or neck and I never plan to, and do you know why? Because it absolutely sucks when you get tagged there, and there's only one way to make it not suck.

That's for the person who did it to step back, put their hand up and say 'Sorry, are you ok?'

I was clanged around the ear with a pole of some description and heard a 'Sorry!', so I gave a thumbs up and carried on. I got a spear to the mouth and the player apologised, so I spat on the floor (because there would totally be blood in my mouth from a real spear to the face, right?) and I yelled at him to bring it on.

Then I get caught right across the bridge of the nose and nothing. Well, I say 'nothing' but actually it was a backswing in return that got me in the side of the head. One guy using his sword to play whack-a-mole with the top of my head was particularly irritating.

"Well," they say "wear armour and carry a shield and that'll happen," like that somehow makes the headshot worth receiving. It's not like I haven't got legs, arm, body and big shiny shoulderpads to hit, oh no. Even when I yelled over to a ref, barely ten yards away, that I'd already been struck in the head four times by that point, he seemed to think I was sharing an amusing jape.
  • You must avoid hitting the groin, neck, or face; you should avoid aiming at the breasts or head where there is a viable alternative target.
Yeah, thanks for that. The silly thing is most of the blows came from the front and my almost fully open and completely viable right-hand side, while my shield protected my left-hand side (and badly, because I'm crap).

At one point on Sunday, needing water, my asthma inhaler and with no physical way of moving back against the crush of other players, I was being continually and repeatedly hit in the head by a group of five players. Oh, sure, some of them aimed for my body or arm when the shield wasn't in the way, but every other hit I suffered was on my head. I stepped forward, swung my sword around to try and either simply get killed or make them take even a single step back so I could get away, one of them told me that I wasn't 'fighting safely'. I almost certainly wasn't (as now I'm not being poked with sticks in places that aren't supposed to be poked, two wrongs don't make a right) to my eternal discredit, but right then I'd have pushed over my own mother to get out of that horrendous situation and even take a breath.

Then she probably wouldn't call me handsome any more, and I'd be down to one person in the world.

Don't get angry, get a ref. Lesson learned.

That battle is the one real negative experience I've had at Empire, as not once after the first five minutes did I actually enjoy it. Sure, it's supposed to be tense, exciting, nerve-wracking and even scary. You're not meant to walk off the field and think "That was a pointlessly shitty way to spend an exasperatingly frustrating hour being bullied in a dangerous forest by anonymous twats, remind me why I'm bothering to do this, again?"

I'm paraphrasing, of course, there were more words beginning with F going through my mind at the time.

It's sad, really, as it very nearly ruined my weekend. Literally (not figuratively) everything else at Empire has been amazing. Then I go and get kettled like an anarchist scumbag with a molotov cocktail outside a G8 meeting. Not fun at all.

Maybe I'll write about the wonderful things that happened at the Summer event once the bruising goes down, because there are plenty of stories to tell. This one needs to be told, because it won't be repeated.

10 comments:

  1. I have the unfortunate thing to hit someone back in the head when i get hit there and they haven't apologised, I just do it harder than them and they don't particularly like it.

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    1. Even if that was recommended, a short-ish sword versus a polearm in line combat meant that would have been pretty difficult.

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  2. if you aren't happy fighting simply die. You decided to try and get killed by waving your sword around...you could simply have gone down. A bad situation as described made worse by your own behaviour.

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    1. That is as described and admitted to, yes.

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  3. incidentally head hits still cause damage....

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    1. And it was thanks to taking those that this was the first battle I used all my hero points on Second Wind calls, ran out of the healing potions that had mostly been wedding gifts from the night before, and bothered more healers for patch-ups than I care to mention. I also finished on 2 HPs during the pull out and was exceedingly grateful for the cease-fire that the refs, or ICly the Generals, called.

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  4. If you put in a head shot in a re-enactment free-fight in The Vikings you lose the fight. End of. It may not be realistic but it makes the more competitive fighters think twice and penalises carelessness. At a a scripted battle I once got smashed across the nasal piece of my helmet with an axe swing and had my helmet knocked off. I threw myself back and out of the fight to avoid injury and gave my opponent the fright of his life as he thought he'd taken my head off! I was willing to forgive him because he was obviously concerned and I was repeatedly asked on my return to the fray if I was alright. You have to accept some risk when you go out on the field but you also should be able to expect common sense and courtesy.

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  5. I took a fair amount of head hits in that fight too and about half were not 'pulled' - but I was one of the few wearing a full helm that also covered my face and full plate everywhere else so personally it was par for the course - if you don't give someone in full plate a decent blow there is a risk they won't feel it (then get abuse for not taking hits etc). The kettelling however was outright dangerous in the woods - in any other system the refs would have called a 10 yard back step to allow safe fighting...

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  6. which battle did the kettling occur? there was a huge crush in the brass coast/varushka battle but we were moved back, though the players didn't move enough

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    1. Highguard/Urizen on Sunday during what turned out to be a departure. Crushing, surrounded, clanky people on the outside, squishies in the middle... all that bad stuff. Genuinely terrifying, and I was on the outside.

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