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Re: Interbaronial Wars

Dafydd greets Cheapside!

I have participated in several interbaronial wars, including many of the
first Assessment Battles.

When they go well, they go very well, and when they are bad they are horrid.
The problem seems to be when group identity gets bound up with victory in
the war.  When this happens victory is a cause for rejoicing such that the
opponents often see it as gloating and poor sportsmanship, and defeat is
cause for ill feelings, and often accusations that are ill-thought-out.
I have seen that happen several times.  It does not happen every time, but
it can happen.

At one Assessment Storvik ("Grand" Storvik--at that time it covered the
area that is now Storvik, Ponte Alto, and Roxbury, and had at least 1/2 the
Chivalry in the Kingdom) behaved poorly, making jokes about "saving one
for Boolaboola", gloating about how great they were, and so on.  No evil
was meant, but it was poor sportsmanship all the same.  Especially since
the BD forces were so severly outnumbered and outgunned that there were
at least 20 fighters left when the last fighter of Black Diamond fell,
including many Knights.  I know, because I was that last fighter.  I was
no Knight at the time, but nobody offered single combat.  And since I
was fighting for BD (but lived in Storvik), I was reviled by the forces
of Storvik, who would normally have been my friends.

At a subsequent Assessment WM Hill had become a military force of note
under the leadership of Baron Valdemar, in spite of having (at the time)
no Knights.  This was no small achievement, and they were justifiably
proud of it.  However, unity and fixity of purpose made for a focus on
winning that is ill-suited to a contest intended as fun among friendly
groups within a single Kingdom, and ill-feelings resulted.

Such ill feelings are attendant upon any war when one side or the other
puts victory ahead of other cardinal virtues.  But within a single Kingdom
the ill feelings become the heritage of the event, and stick around
much longer than they do at Pennsic.

Uther speaks sooth.

>Believe me, IBW's do create bad feelings toward groups.

It doesn't always happen, but when it does the feelings may stick
around for a long time.  There are many ways to run a war--when you
tie group identity and group pride to the sides, you are asking for
intensity and focus that often puts winning ahead of chivalry and
proper courtesy on the field.

This is sad, because fighting with a group, _as_ a group is a bonding
experience unlike any other, which is one of the reasons many fighters
love war so well.

Sir Dafydd ap Gwystl