What I know about player killing can be written on the back of a very small postage stamp. Should any of you find said stamp and turn it over, you will read the words, 'Ask Gri3f'. PKing has never been my thing. The courage, strategies and vastness of it all boggles my mind, especially when large, inexperienced clans have to be led into battle against each other. This is the work of military generals. Fortunately, both Sal's and Canting had brilliant leaders for this clash; and I want to start with talking about them.
I was surprised to learn (via Tabt) that this was the first major event that Micael Fatia had organised for Sal's Realm. From my point of view, he approached it all with a confidence, clarity and diplomacy that smacked of professionalism. Despite my ignorance about the subject, I never once found myself in a position where I didn't know what was going on. As soon as Micael took the helm, he came into Canting and introduced himself. PKing might make me nervous, but my chat channel is home territory, which helped put me at ease. He was polite, good-humoured and patient, when I had to go and look things up. I actually felt quite important engaging in these negotiations with him!
Less welcome, from my highly biased perspective, was how well he rallied his troops and kept them tight, as we did battle in Clan Wars. In fact, that was downright scary! Sal's Realm should love him for it; Canting certainly didn't! <_< Nevertheless, I appreciated how honourable he was throughout, even when he was obviously our main target during every bout.
Finally, he took the time to come and thank us all for the event. While chatting to Canting, someone complained to him about some of the bad language that Sal's members had used to insult us. Micael graciously apologised on behalf of Sal's Realm. It's a big clan and everyone was excited. Things get said in the heat of the moment that might cross the boundaries of fun, but he had spoken up if he spotted it at the time.* All in all, I was very impressed with Micael Fatia. He was a credit to Sal's last night and they are in for big things, if this was just the start of his forum career.
(*I've heard no complaints, but if this also happened in the opposite direction, then you have my apology on behalf of Canting too. This is for all of the same reasons that Micael gave for Sal's Realm. Our clans were there in good nature and remain friends. Let's face it, half of Canting are Slammers too! I'm the clan owner and I'm a Sal's woman through and through. :P)
Leading Canting against them was Gri3f. I never cease to be impressed by his mind, but last night took that to a whole new level. Last year, Sal's Realm had not been organised and we decimated them from start to finish. This year, they had Micael Fatia. As soon as the first round had started, it was apparent that Gri3f's strategy, so highly successful last year, was not going to work as well now. I watched him do the cerebral equivalent of turning on a sixpence. He devised a whole Plan B in about a second. His orders were short and simple, so that even noobs like me could follow them. I've never seen Canting as disciplined, as when Gri3f is leading us. It's now completely etched into our psyche. Later on, outside Clan Wars and in a different place, Gri3f gave a command and every Canting member present just did it! He's a natural born leader, I swear.
It should also be noted that both Micael Fatia and Gri3f weren't taking experienced PKers into this fight. These weren't clans honed to battle perfection by hours in the Wilderness. We haven't the lexicon of the great PKing legends - half of us wouldn't know what a PJer is, let alone how to form a DD. The likes of me and Msclick are more likely to hurt ourselves with a sword than anyone else. These are the people whom Micael and Gri3f formed into battle-ready forces, directed only by their respective strategies. No rehearsals, many of us turning up just minutes before the battle began. I think they both did brilliantly.
So what was the result? The bare facts are here:
- Round One: Sal's Realm decimated Canting Away.
- Round Two: Sal's Realm beat Canting, but we lasted a lot longer and took some of them with us.
- Round Three: Canting Away beat Sal's Realm (NB Some Slammers had defected to Canting.)
- Round Four: No show from Sal's Realm resulted in an automatic victory for Canting.
- Round Five: Canting Away decimated Sal's Realm.
- Round Six: Canting Away decimated Sal's Realm.
It ended there, as Micael Fatia informed us that he was no longer able to form an army. Too many people had left the battle and gone to do something else (or become turncoats and started fighting for Canting), so the mechanics of Clan Wars would not allow him in. This was apparently also the issue during round four, though enough came back for the final two bouts. The final tally was Canting 4 - Sal's Realm 2.
Canting met in Varrock West Bank. It was supposed to be at 8pm, with the Clan Wars battle starting at half past, but many of us were there early. Gri3f was the first person present and he did a great job of checking armour and inventories. I think that every individual in a Canting clan cloak had some personal attention from our PKing leader. He moved amongst us encouraging here and reassuring there, as the situation demanded it. Occasionally there would be a cry of 'fall in'! At the time, I thought this was so he could keep up with the headcount and know how many he was taking into the arena. In retrospect, I think it was also him getting us used to 'falling in', as this was a huge part of keeping us in order once the battle started. 'Fall in' or 'FI' meant that we all had to follow him, thus turning into a mobile death dot. I personally never had any intention of 'falling out' long enough to have to FI! I was going to cling onto Gri3f until it was all over!
I got into trouble with Gri3f in Varrock. *Ashamed face* Last year, I'd bought a full set of corrupt dragon armour for the same fight then. It's been sitting in my bank ever since. I took it out and popped it on, checking my worn inventory to see how I looked. Stylish! Suddenly there's Gri3f yelling across the bank, "Merch Gwyar! Get that armour off!" When I missed it, he repeated it in both Canting and Old Canting, then again in game. I finally got the message and immediately removed it. I thought that it wasn't appropriate this time or something, but he soon reappraised me of that one. Corrupt dragon armour degrades into nothing, as you wear it. Putting it on half an hour before the fight would render it dust by the time you actually got in there! Oops!
The funny thing was that, despite carrying it into all six fights, I never put it on again. I'm much happier as a ranger, plus I'd read Gri3f's guide on PKing with range or mage. I spent the entire event in green dhide, firing my arrows like some latter day Legolas. Unless I was obeying the command to FI, I tried to act like a real PKer, hugging walls and firing arrows over fences. On one occasion, I had IAmKitten targeting me. He was fighting with melee and I was taking a lot of damage. I didn't panic (which is my usual strategy in those situations), instead I recalled Gri3f's guide. I didn't attempt to fight back immediately. I hugged a wall and dashed around the back of it, in a tight manoeuvre. IAmKitten got trapped behind it! There was a hole in the wall, through which I let off a volley of arrows. I won!! Me! I took down IAmKitten! I think that surely makes me a proper PKer now. I should get a hat with my kill count on, so I can turn into one of those scary statues that Sal's members kept being to intimidate us in the waiting room. Rawr!
But that was all in the future. For now, I was taking the corrupt dragon armour off and cringing at being naughty. I took my dragonhide out and packed some addy arrows. I only had 100. I've got 1000s of rune arrows, plus dragon and loads of God arrows. I was going to ask Gri3f if I should take them instead, but he was checking the next person's inventory. I looked it up. Maple bows are the highest you can use in F2P and they won't allow anything higher than addy. :( I added my Sight to the maple bow and fell in behind our esteemed leader.
He was worried. He didn't actually come out and say, "Oh dear, we're going to get slaughtered," because he knew that would freak me out. But I could tell from the way that he kept asking for more people that he was slightly concerned by our numbers. We had about a dozen. Sal's had the capacity to bring 100s. I wasn't as concerned. We'd had the same situation last year and we'd won hands down. Besides history is full of small armies defeating massive ones. I was only on about Puebla last week, when a tiny Mexican army defeated Napoleon's huge, highly experienced, unbeaten-for-50-years invasion force. Plus Owain Glyndwr did it for two decades. Ok, he had Welsh archers on his side, but so *touches bow* did Gri3f.
He'd had me put on my private chat, which I never do because I tend to get inundated with messages. He wanted to check who in chat was a Canting member and who was a Sal's Realm spy (that went both ways too; Micael was doing the same - and Tabt was very busy kicking our lot out of their clan chat LOL). I suddenly had a hearty hello from xNightSpeedX, who had once been a Canting general before going to pastures new. I was anxiously reading Gri3f's latest, 'anyone else coming?', so my response was less a 'ohai Nightspeed, how are you?' and more a 'Come and fight for Canting!! Varrock West Bank, w61!!' Bless him, he didn't even ask any more details. He just came to the location, where he could converse with Gri3f, then grab his sword. Actually, thinking about it, Nightspeed knows me well enough to know that he'd gain a better picture asking Gri3f than wasting time questioning me. :P
As more Canters flooded in, Gri3f appeared more relaxed. Well, he never seems stressed, but I'm talking on the Gri3f scale here. It's all relative. He finally announced that he wasn't worried any more, which proved that he had been. Once we were ready, he led us on a walk to somewhere north of Falador. I had no idea where we were going, because I still thought that Clan War was in the Wilderness, but I didn't question it. I just enjoyed the trek. It was great! We were practising our blood-curdling rawrs all the way there. :D
We entered the waiting room and regrouped on the other side of the door. A barrage of banter went up, as we spied the waiting Slammers. I smiled. You see, we were in tight formation, having all fallen in behind Gri3f. We looked like two people - Gri3f followed by a single dot of fighters. You'd have to right-click us to realise there were loads of people following him. I didn't count us, but I reckon there were about 20 Canters representing all sides of the combat triangle. Our levels took in the whole range from single figures to maxed. My smile was in surveying the opposition. There were Slammers everywhere! They might be more numerous, but they were scattered throughout the waiting room. Gri3f had told us last year that Canting won because we were organised and they were not. This looked and smelt like an action replay. Of course, we didn't know at that point about the strategies of Micael Fatia. :(
Enter my one and only instance of minor panic. We were all in Old Canting, not the new one, so were fighting through that channel. Gri3f is an admin in new Canting and a general in the old one, but not under that name. Gri3f has about a billion PKing accounts and used to regularly change which one had the mod powers in Old Canting. It was left with 'Grief', as opposed to 'Gri3f', having control in there. When Micael stepped forward to challenge us, Gri3f couldn't accept. He calmly instructed me to do so on behalf of Canting. O.O Me?! I only own the place!! This would involve the nitty-gritty of terms and things! It would mean ticking boxes that only the likes of Micael and Gri3f understand! I could inadvertently condemn Canting to pain and instant death before we ever took the field! "Or make me a general," Gri3f added. I rushed into the settings. It's been over a year since I've been in there, I'm used to the new clan settings and these didn't look the same. I had to find Grief on my friends list and remove him. I had to add Gri3f and make him a general. It took me a couple of minutes to do all of that, then another minute for him to show up as gaining the status. I was so aware of time ticking on, and Micael and Gri3f standing there, both of our clans pumped up and waiting.
We were in. I huddled behind Gri3f, in the midst of a death dot of my friends and comrades. He gave short commands, so easy to follow - 'Pot Up', 'Fall In', 'Pile Micael'. Unfortunately, it appears that Micael was doing exactly the same thing over there, because Sal's Realm piled Gri3f and there were more of them! The like of Zach and Coss kept their heads and adapted; but the rest of us scattered and were quickly picked off one by one. All Gri3f could do was call from the prison saying, 'Take the magers and rangers first'. All I heard was, 'OhCachi!I'maRangerAndMicaelKnowsWhatHe'sDoing!' I was soon dead. As the prison filled up, Gri3f wryly commented, "Sal's got organised." It broke the tension before I could even work myself up into a decent panic. LOL
By the second battle, Gri3f had gone. My jaw dropped. I hadn't even realised until we were inside the arena. I let instinct take over and clung to Zach instead, as did half of Canting. There was confusion just inside that door, not just with me. Half of Canting followed my lead and attached ourselves to Zach. A couple of others just stood there looking for Gri3f; more attached themselves to Coss.
Then something strange happened. I felt a dead calm take over me, which never happens in these situations. I typed, 'I'll lead us into battle', but I didn't send it because Zach had just given an order instead. We were to form behind Randomdude89. We weren't to worry. Gri3f was going to be piled as a priority, so this would throw Sal's Realm into confusion. I'd never freaking heard of Randomdude, but I knew that our lot were dragging in friends to help us. I figured that he was probably some famous PKer, who had come to help out Gri3f. In many regards, that was absolutely true.
As Zach and Coss rushed to stand behind Randomdude, I did the same. The rest of Canting were also falling in. The whole incident had taken about 30 seconds and we were a tightly formed clan again. It took us a few minutes to start fighting though. It seemed that Randomdude and Micael were thinking along the same lines. Both had their clans hiding out in some dead foliage, waiting for the other side to initiate the first attack. It was only as tactics were being whispered into Old Canting that I finally sussed something. Randomdude sounded an awful lot like Gri3f...
Suddenly Sal's Realm were there, as tightly formed behind Micael as we were behind Randomdude. The order came to take out Micael Fatia. We rushed, but as we were piling him, he started moving away. It rendered us stretched thin and divided. I was just thinking how clever that was, when I realised I was under attack. I ran! Freaking MFI was on my back and I rushed off into the foliage, no longer even watching for what Randomdude was saying. This was an error. It left me separated from the rest of my clan, shoving anchovy pizzas down my throat There was also the surreal aspect of MFI being in a Skype call with me. I was berating him verbally with, 'get off me!' and bemoaning the lack of panic sharks in F2P. MFI was laughing in my ear, as he pursued me, then giving me friendly advice like using my panic swordfish instead of the pizzas, as they were only one bite instead of two. This is what I mean about Canting and Sal's Realm usually being indivisible. My PKer was also my friend and one-time general of Canting. He was teaching me how to survive, even as he was trying to kill me. <3
MFI's screenshot present to me. My response was, 'Msclick does rock!!'
I died eventually, but not before I'd found the rest of Canting and shot a lot more arrows. I'm not sure if I shook MFI off or if he gave me a minute or so's break. I know that I eventually thought I was safe and rushed around a pond to fire arrows at whomever Randomdude called to target. Then MFI was back and I was dead. >:( I joined a prison that was slowly filling up with Canters. It wasn't as fast as the first round, but it was still a decimation.
I think that MFI and Tabt felt sorry for us then. They're often the champions of the underdog, so they defected and brought at least two other Slammers with them. Our cause also received a boost by the fact that some of Sal's Realm appear to have the endurance capabilities of small fleas. They wandered off, leaving us with a much more equal playing field in terms of numbers. Round three was a much more closely fought match. We didn't run off, when the orders came. MFI and Tabt were delighting in attacking Micael Fatia anyway, which left the rest of the clan for us.
I watched carefully what Randomdude said and followed my orders. I hugged walls and stood behind fences. I was out there for ages! The final result was never certain until the closing shots, but then it was a morale boosting win for Canting. Our clan chat erupted into cheers! We were back!
On the other side, I believe that Slammers were realising that the odds were now not so firmly stacked in their favour. So many left that Micael was unable to field an army after accepting the challenge. Canting stood inside the arena watching the countdown happening. One Slammer did come in, then left immediately. Ten... Nine... Eight... no Slammers in the arena... Seven... Six... "We're going to win by default?"... Five... Four... "Woot!"... Three.. Two... Still no-one for Sal's Realm... One! OMG! 2-2! Canting had won without a shot fired!
Micael apologised once we were out. He explained that he hadn't been able to get enough people to represent Sal's Realm in time. Judging by Randomdude's responses, I don't think he really counted this as a win, being too schooled in PK etiquette, honour and stuff like that. Not so the rest of Canting. We were dancing around like over-excited happy people, screaming 2-2 to anyone who'd listen!
Whatever Micael had said to his clan in the meantime caused a sudden influx back. It wasn't the sheer numbers of before (and some of his best fighters were now turning out for Canting), but it was enough for two more battles. These lasted longer than any that had gone before. Randomdude seriously had to step up his game. His strategies were coming thick and fast. We had to return to a certain spot in between each piling of a player. Everyone did. We watched his pronouncements like hawks! Moreover, we also knew the chain of command. As soon as Randomdude was killed, he called out for Zach to take over. I'd actually been brave enough to issue the challenges in these rounds, so I had the little bubble to work. I switched Randomdude's name to Zach's. All that needed to be said was prominently displayed on our screens. The real PKers would probably laugh themselves hoarse, but I felt like we were a really tight clan in those final two battles. We also won both very decisively.
It was over when Micael could no longer persuade enough Slammers to fight for Sal's Realm. He came into Canting and thanked us all for a great event. I went into Sal's Realm and did the same. It really had been a lot of fun! We retired to my house in Yanille, where a party was scheduled anyway in half an hour. We just started early. I'd invited all of Sal's to join us. Martinofc took us up on the offer and it was great to see him there.
Thank you Sal's Realm for another great Christmas Clan Wars fight. See you next year for the third clash? <3