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 Post subject: How would you set up a "300" scenario?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:06 pm 
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I'm pretty sure a lot of people are stoked about the movie coming out on Friday. I thought the graphic novel was decent and it inspired me to read the book "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield.

A quote from the book:
"I will tell His Majesty what a king is. A king does not abide within his tent while his men bleed and die upon the field. A king does not dine while his men go hungry, nor sleep when they stand at watch upon the wall. A king does not command his men's loyalty through fear nor purchase it with gold; he earns their love by the sweat of his own back and the pains he endures for their sake. That which comprises the harshest burden, a king lifts first and sets down last. A king does not require service of those he leads but provides it to them. He serves them, not they him."

But I digress...

I've been reading in the Armour Archive about how they plan on running a "300" style battle at Pennsic this year. Their scenario essentially involves everyone with a Greek kit setting up in the gate of the castle with hay bales to form a narrow bridge leading in. "Persians" get unlimited resurrections while the Spartans have to hold the pass long enough for a runner to carry a banner from the castle to a different location. Sounds like fun, I guess, but I see it as a total grind for the "Persians" since only a few would actually be able to engage at a time. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not too fond of battles like that.

How would you set up a scenario that could capture the spirit of the battle (Let's be honest here--it was a last stand, albeit heroic, but still a last stand nonetheless.) but would allow most everyone to participate?

Here are a couple of ideas that I had:

1) Separate the fighters into four groups (similar to what we did at Opener) and have each color rotate in as the Spartans. See which group can hold out the longest.

2) Allow only a small group of armored fighters with all the spears, armor, and shields they can bear against everyone else with a ratio of 1 fighter for every 4-6 on the Persian side. There would be no archers on the Spartan side. They would have a very limited space that they could move in. After a certain amount of time, they would end up completely surrounded replicating Ephialtes' treachery.

3) Have a group of heavily armored fighters along with all of the spears start out completely surrounded by everyone else. A messenger has to break through (with the assistance of the other fighters I would hope) and get a flag to a point on the other side of the field. As long as the heavy fighters are still alive, he can't be killed but once all of the heavies are wiped out, the messenger becomes vulnerable.

Your ideas?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:27 am 
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That's an excellent book, first of all. i loved it too.

As for the battle, some thoughts-

The spears they used were their one handed melee weapons, not the two handed kind we use, so it would be a little different. I would say let people use whatever they wanted, minus arrows.

I like the idea, as kind of a timed endurance bridge battle.

The messenger part is a bit much, i think just having a small group fighting against a large group for time would be more interesting.

Though, we also have to remember that those guys were the best of the best in their day, but it does show the importance of terrain and picking your spot. I don't know how well this would translate over to our fighting, but i'd be willing to try.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:08 am 
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If you wanted to give the outnumbered group an advantage and make them more into heroes, you could say that any arm and leg armor they have is invincible.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:00 pm 
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Our realm had a lot of fun dividing up into three groups, A, B and C. Each group would take turns rotating into a roped off ?V? shape that was closed off in the back to prevent being surrounded. The other 2 teams were allied and were to attack the team inside the ?V?. As the team inside the ?V? lost fighters they had to back up into the narrow part of the roped off area. Eventually it would come down to one defender fighting no more than 2 or 3 attackers at a time thus somewhat preventing a snow-ball effect. We did allow whatever weapon combos people wanted to use, as we weren?t thinking of Thermopylae when we came up with the idea.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Ok, so the Fianna has done something kinda like this on a smaller scale for a while, and it works pretty well. This is not at all drawn from 300, so I don't know what different ways the movie and us might have interpreted Thermopolae.

Divide into two teams, one outnumbered about 3 to 1 (having 4 teams rotate as the Spartans would actually work quite well here).

Field layout is as a bridge battle, uncrossable river, anyone who steps over the hay bails is dead.

Spartans are allowed any equipment they want except bows. Heavy armor, large shields, polearms and javelins are recommended. So are helmets. Within the unit, those of us who had brought heavy armor and big shields threw em all in together for general use by anyone on the Spartan team.

Persians are not allowed shields, armor, red weapons, or javelins (including throwing Spartan javs back). They MAY have bows (the Persian army was very bow heavy, recall--"Their arrows shall darken the sky" "Then we shall fight in the shade"). In our experience, because of the close quarters and the high percentage of helmeted Spartans, arrows were mostly ineffective.

A Spartan who dies is dead. He is done for the fight. However, he may still recover spent javelins and return them to the living Spartans.

Any Persian who dies is resurrected eventually. We experimented with both resurrecting the Persians en mass to simulate wave attacks and give the Spartans a few seconds to recover, and also allowing individual Persians (or, in a larger scenario, perhaps a small group--only allow Persians to respawn when they have 1/4 or 1/2 of the entire Persian side dead?) to respawn after a certain amount of time.

Really, it's something that would require on the field testing for use in a large group.

*, I just wish we had thought of this to do at Ocfest using the big castle gates. Would have been * sweet. Next year, that so needs to be done.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:43 pm 
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We've always done a Thermopoly(sp) battle at our practces.
We basicly do the first scenario you desribed, Kyrian, only we split into 3 teams. I don't know why 3 teams, but thats how we've always done it.
I like the idea of the team holding the gap having all the spears. We're going to start doing some of that.
A couple of my freinds are trying to talk me into going to a midnight showing of 300, but I gotta work at 7. I think I'm gonna wait til tomorow afternoon.
FB

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Knightfall has a certain advantage of having a bit of forest with paths through it.

We did more or less what Oisin suggested. However, Persians could use more or less whatever they wanted, but all the javelins we had went to the Spartans. Spartans had a round shield, javelin, and had a "breastplate" and a "helm" (Few people in our realm have armor, so we allow an extra hit.").

We had the Spartans in the middle of the pathway, and the bulk of the Persians fighting them in one direction. The Persians had a unit or two go around the back and march up the other side of the path. Javelins were not reusable, so the Spartans did carry a few normal weapons, but no flails.

First time the Spartans won, but the Persians didn't have respawn and the soldier at the back died quickly. Second time the Persians had three waves to kill the Spartans and three incoming of the Persians died. Third time the Persians won in two waves with two better equipped soldiers coming in from the back.

It went fairly well.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:59 am 
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I've gotta mention this;
Chumpsgiving of 'o6. Rain, goose-poop, mud and blood. Terrain like a real battlefield! Some snow-flurries, but whatever; Babylon is like the postal service: rain or snow. Buncha VIPs are in town, Xooyan and Orion are visiting. As newly-appointed 'field commander', Orion points out how we have such a nice park to play in and we should use our surrondings more to me, and we all head over to another field we've never used. There's a small 30yard hill with rock walls leading up to the crest of the hill, the top plateaus out with a bathroom, there's wooden fences blocking off any flank(tho you'd not want to scale the rock walls, ouch)
Two 10' wide paths with rock walls leading up to one path. Three teams coming at each other, or two coming at the team holding the top. It was very fun, always annoying to explain over and over again to the one or two turds what the hell is going down, again, but ch'knowoteva! I don't care!
It was the most fun when there was an archer on top, and the three teams would clash in the middle; there'd be that moment of hesitation before you started killing, or dying. FUN! Thanx Orion for the idea, yeah baby YEAH!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:15 am 
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When Muxlovia has a practice of less than say, 15 people, they'll play a game where they see how many battles it takes a team of 2 (or 3, overwhelming odds you get the idea.) to kill the rest of the field. Each fight the smaller team regens, the dead fighters from the other team do not. Does work as well with a realm with a number of heavy skilled fighters that rush and destroy team at odds like that, but it's great for smaller realms.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:53 pm 
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give the "spartans" hero armor. They count as having armor all over, and the enemies can only use blues shields and greens, no reds 'cept for maybe one freakish cannibal giant thing (like a boss or something, as in the film).

and of course make it like 1:3 odds

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:59 pm 
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Ebonhold does this battle fairly frequently. They have a couple of small trees in their park that are about 10 or 15 feet apart. Usually starts out with the vets vs the rest. the battle is between the trees, no one can go around the outside of the trees. It usually ends up with about 8-10 vs 25+ on the occasions I've seen it. If the vets can hold then they allow the others to regenerate, or make the least experienced vet go to the other team. It is quite fun to fight this battle.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:24 am 
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The realm I practice at does nearly that exact same battle. Two trees, vets versus newbies, newbies have to stop the vets at the trees, and if we are bored the newbies have to break through the vets (vets have five second rez about 25-50 feet away, newbies have instant rez at about the same distance) this is great fun and better cardio.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Yes, I am also from Knightfall and we did the battle quite well...I'm not very good so I was a corpse most of the time but I did kill a spartan during a line rush straight at'em, otherwise yea we got the right terrain and all the space in the world...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:29 pm 
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I kinda like the idea till I broke out the out history book and re-read the whole battle. There were other units besides the spartans in that gap. 900 Helots and 700 Thespians were there as well at the end. The persians ended up receving information about a path through the mountains to circle round the defenders which ended in them being surrounded. Finally killed by a rain shower of arrows. Not to mention they had a wall there were defending which could be used but wasn't.

I would suggest two side limiters one be water and the other something that can be flanked. But the flankers for ther persians must go a distance to take at least 5 mins to get around. Only when the defending group is surrounded can you use arrows. Greeks get 2 lives, unless hit by an arrow. Defenders win but destroying 80% of the attacking force.

Forces the persians to keep greeks contained till they can fire arrows. Greeks stay contained for fear of being picked off. Greeks become besieged by arrows from both directions. Greeks then fight a battle of attrition vs the persian attrition. O and if possiable build a haystack wall high enough to hinder attacking arrows from the rear and still allow people to use there spears over the top of the wall. I would also allow people to use current spears not javs, as the persians could not get close enough to kill thus the reason they got killed so easy.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:08 am 
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At Thaw Brawl '07 we had a number of 'Thermopylae' battles that were a rush. 3 teams, 2 as Spartans, 1 with 30 second res times at a back point, timed. Wash, rinse, repeat with different teams. Kept it simple yet the spirit of the moment was there. The intensity was awesome. Of course, my persona BEING Spartan I am a bit biased, but *shrug*.


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