LARP War Journal: The Great Siege of Tarimstadt
The game I play has made some big developments in recent years, but none more than the idea that someone could actually build an entire site just for the game. When I first heard of this idea, it was hard to see this as a possibility. For some people, LARPing is nothing more than a hobby or pastime. You would never have the expectation that someone would go this far and on their own property of land. The site wasn’t finished by the time of the event set on it, yet we were all blown away by what was already set up and the potential for more of what we heard was planned.
This day event featured an epic siege battle designed to take full advantage of this major site, including the amazing foundations of Tarimstadt (the main kingdom). There were two parts of the siege battle, and the first part was an intense maze fight. The game had everyone split into two big teams. You were either the defenders of Tarimstadt, or you were the raiders who came come to invade. My character being a zealot, it felt more fitting to be on the side of the raiders. This wasn’t as chaotic as the normal maze battle considering we could actually see over the maze. It was fun for the fact that it wasn’t on a flat field. The hills went up, down, and tilted. Nothing was ever too straightforward, and luckily one side didn’t have the advantage over the other because of it. For me, it was more important to control the high ground. It was tricky getting past the archers and casters who wanted to dispel me, but the challenge was half the fun. I definitely could have done a bit more though I will admit that I did not wake up one-hundred percent that day given the day before was St. Patrick’s Day.
What followed the maze battle was the actual siege of the castle. Truthfully, from the minute they explained the rules for this second fight, it was quite easy to drop any idea that the raiders could win. Whether it was the heavy fortification of Tarimstadt, single entry to the castle, or lack of firepower from the raiders, you pretty much had to be ready to simply fight for the heck of it. Being a Mage, my primary objective was to put pressure on the front gate with consistent fireballs on it for the fighters to break through. The only challenge was not having many with shields to protect myself from archers gunning for me. And that was only half the battle when there was the fact that I would still have to be able to get close enough to the gate to make sure the fireball landed on it. If we had a better combination of shields and those who could break the gate without using up heavy firepower at the jump, we could have done much more to break all the way through.
The only problem that I think most could agree on was the lack of understanding in simplicity of rules. When the game is too intricate, there comes a struggle for everyone to find themselves on the same page to play the game at its full potential. That second part wasn’t an issue, but it was the time explaining the game before it began that was. It felt like a lot of time that could have spent actually playing, was spent getting everyone to sit down and get what they were supposed to do without confusion. Honestly if the core of the game can’t be summed up in a few minutes, you might have to adjust. I mean I get the excitement in going big, though you must always remember the players are just regular people.
Some were talking about the possibility of the site being useful for campout weekend purposes, though it would all depend on the approach. This is a site that wouldn’t reward being able to provide your own shade on a sunny day, and there aren’t too many unique places to set up camp. Not a problem of course considering LARPers are a creative bunch. It doesn’t take much to think outside of the box and make something work.