By Mike "Panther" Palumbo
|Photo by Jennifer DeNardis Rosa|
Queen's war, a combination of gladiatorial showmanship and individual prowess and the closest our fighting comes to a spectator sport (or Thunderdome depending on your perspective). Two men enter, one man leaves. At least that's how it's been in recent years. If there is a third team, they typically aren't in the running very long.
But with this year's team caps, we will return to a time when three or more combatants enter the ring. In my time, I've seen a shift in the general etiquette within Queen's War. These days, if there is a third combatant, some seemingly noble warrior will gesture to the other two suggesting they fight first, and not backstab nor take advantage of any opportunity made by the battle between them. Not only is this wrong, but it was never done this way in the days of old (by that I mean early QoHs). Before you scream foul, no honor, old man, etc. etc. consider this:
It's a melee not a series of one-on-one fights.
When you treat it like a series of one-on-one fights it ceases to be a melee and becomes a bear pit, the loser of the first battle keeping their wounds for the next. We don't do it this way when we do team melee, we don't take turns. We expect teams to be opportunistic. It should be no different in an individual melee.
And let's examine that seemingly noble person who "lets" the others go first. That person gets a bye to the final round, so to speak. If there are three people, he only has to beat one to win, whereas the other has to beat two. And if the opponent has any wounds from the first fight, it's even easier for the "noble" warrior. Any odd number creates this scenario. Suddenly their noble intentions seem self-serving don't they? The truely noble thing would be to let the weakest (if that were obvious) have the bye while the big bad fighters duke it out first. But frankly, in this case, now you are insulting someone, having assumed them weakest. The only solution is to simply fight. Everyone just fight.
As the third man, I'm not saying you have to backstab, but you should be putting the pressure on the others and be within striking distance. Each combatant should be attempting to pinch one of the others while avoiding being pinched. You should be poised to take advatage of opportunities created by the engagment of the other two.
Queen's war is a melee, and melee tactics should be employed. No one should get a free pass because they suggest it. If that's not what the community wants, then it should be called Queen's Bear Pit.