This year marked my third time as Pennsic Melee Champs coordinator for the East Kingdom. I chose the team a little differently this year, and I want to document the process here so both the East Kingdom and our rapier community understand the process, plus act as a resource for future coordinators.
Little background for some context.
My first year as coordinator, I inherited a team already chosen and co-commanded with (then) His Grace Duke Kenric. The second year, I got to choose the team but co-commanded with the Midrealm’s commander. Bother years we lost and of no lack of effort. This year, I got to choose the team and solo command. Despite organizing things the past couple of years, this was the first time it truly felt like my team in every aspect.
I knew most of the EK “hot sticks” were going to the Single’s Team, and I didn’t want to throw another “All-Star” team on the field as that hadn’t really worked either in the past two years. I wanted strong melee combatants. Folks who work well as a team. Communicate well. Work hard. Fight hard. In short: soldiers.
I also only wanted to choose from a pool of people who showed interest in the team and was willing to put in the work to be on the team. No one would make it based off reputation alone. Everyone needed to earn their way onto the team. So I did a string of tryout/practices to see who those people where. Continue reading Pennsic XLV Melee Champs Post-Mortem→
Pennsic XLV was my fourth Pennsic, and my second as Executive Officer of the East Kingdom Rapier Army. This year, Kate came with me, too.
After an overnight stay in Buffalo, we made it into Pennsic on Friday morning where we (finally) got to debut our new tent, which I’ve affectionately called our Chateau. Setup was a huge pain. It was hot and humid, and we still needed to finish a few things on the tent (like the door and window), which meant setup took a lot longer than anticipated. But it was worth the effort. It looked great and held up beautifully in the rain. It also got a really nice cross-breeze (which was much needed this year).
– Finish the buff coat. Test run of the dye was… weird. I’ve emailed Master Luke for his expertise.
– LT’s doublet. It’s going to be very… LT.
– Straps & buckles for the new spurs. I meant to snag some period buckles at Pennsic but shopping time was almost eradicated this year for me.
– More period accurate falling bands and hand falls since I got lace, compliments of Baron Jehan recently. 😀
– Also have some fabric laying around. More doublets maybe? I have old ones that need to be put out to pasture soon. I didn’t roast nearly as bad as I expected in my slashed-sleeve doublet at Pennsic this year.
– Last year or so I had an idea for animated melee training videos. Xs & Os type stuff. I should work on making that a reality. I don’t think anything like this exists on the Internet (amazingly).
– Also want to write up a rapier melee treatise. The rapier ones I’ve found from other kingdoms are so-so and the rattan ones don’t translate perfectly to rapier. Would be nice to write one in the EK tradition to help new commanders.
– Need to brainstorm melee commanding class with Nataliia. Again, to help new commanders.
– I’m fired up to do more period rapier stuff. It’s been such a boon to my skill. I should try to find more time to delve into it deeper… y’know, in all that free time I have.
Last year I was in the Pennsic Rapier Melee Champions bout; this year I “lost” my way into the singles/heroic team.*
Video all twelve fights just got uploaded to Youtube. Lots of varying styles and techniques. My fight begins at 21:34 against Don John Drake. He’s an amazing fencer and a super fun fight. He also does Italian rapier (I believe he does di Grassi) and won the By the Book tourney at Pennsic this year, so I was really excited to get paired up with him. I figured it’d be an entertaining bout for those watching.
I’m the dashing rogue in all black with a blue sash on the right side of the screen.