Raids

Version 0.2/ updated on 2002JN10
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Note: this guide about raids is aimed at higher level parties than other guides in this fighting section. This is because of the nature of typical raids.

A raid is essentially any expedition that has definite goal. As such, hunts and exploration missions are raids too, but the term raid is usually used for expeditions that are neither regular hunt nor explorations. Examples of raids are an expedition to a place to take ethereal flow readings, or an endeavor to bring a mystc to the ethereal amulet trainer in Umbrion's keep, or an expedition to get catsbane from the glacier's cave in Kizmia's island. In a raid there is a goal that requires the group to go from point 'A' to point 'B,' often (but not always) with the least amount of fighting possible and as quickly as possible. Because of that raids follow a set of rules generally not found in hunts.

Leadership

One thing that is essential on raids is to establish a clear leadership. One person is identified as the leader from the start. Who that person is depends not only on ranks, but even more importantly on knowledge of the area where the raid is to take place and on experience in leadership. For the raid to be successful everyone must be attentive to, and follow the leader's orders. It is also important NOT to yell orders in the leader's place, because that confuses everyone and also because the leader is supposed to know better than you what to do (otherwise you would have been the leader) and probably has a good reason for following that course of action. It is ok to yell information that may be useful, like exceptional threats that must be dealt with quickly (for example yelling "BRO" in an OV raid (OV is "Orga Village" and "BRO" means "Big Red Orga," you call this litterally when you see a big red orga because it is impossible to tell at first sight if it is a Frenzy, a Fury, a Hatred, a Warleader or a Wraith since they all look the same - if you wonder what they look like check here). In some circumstances where the raiding party is very big or is divided in subgroups (like rods at different positons) then some people may repeat the leader's order, yelling "retreat has been called" for example.

Commands

Gather direction, Go direction, Retreat or Out, Gather/regroup here, Clear snell then gather direction, All in, Heal up then go direction, exile name scout, Position on edge, exile name lure, Chain out, etc. All these are typical commands issued during a raid by the leader. You must be attentive to the leader's command and act on them the moment they are issued. That means that when "gather west" is called you drop whatever you're doing and you get yourself on the west edge of the snell. You should not finish off a creature, finish healing someone to white or any other such non-critical action before complying with the order. If you cannot comply you should immediatly yell that information (for instance if someone is fallen or if you are trapped).

Gather & Go orders

These are the two most common orders given because they regulate movement (and moving from point 'A' to point 'B' is usually 90% of a raid). Both are usually used with a direction (NW, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or 'here' for Gather). Often a Gather is called and when everyone is together and ready the Go command is given (in which case a direction is often ommited since at that point it is usually obvious). Gather means exactly that, it does not include "peeking" in the other snell to see how things are unless the leader calls for someone to scout. If you "fall off" a snell edge you should stay where you are and wait for someone to come get you. If you have a sunstone and are able to use it you should contact someone (like you buddy) and advise him/her of your situation. You will get rescued if you fall off, but if you leave the snell you fall in, generally you are on your and will not be helped further. Falling off can happen and is an acceptable accident, but running off afterwards (by leaving the snell) only puts the whole group at risk and most group will not look for you if you do. You have been warned: stay put. Better to fall to a creature than leave the snell, since the resuers will find you and chain you out.

Once everyone is gathered there usually is a call to heal and to "buddy check," and then a Go command (unless the iron-man tactic is used). Top fighters should go in first (potentially at the same time as rodders) then healers, then mystics. Mid-level fighters and chainers should be the last to leave the snell to help in case someone falls or if there is a back spawn.

Pairing off (buddies)

When the party is of considerable size or when the area is marsh-like there is usually a call to pair off at the beginning. You find yourself a buddy which will remain the same person for the duration of the raid. Buddies have to look out for one another. You keep track of your buddy and s/he keeps track of you. If your buddy falls, falls off the edge or is in trouble you should immediatly yell so that the group can organise to recover/help him/her. When gathering you should make sure your buddy is present, which is refered to as a "buddy check," and report it immediatly if s/he is missing so that the mystics can try to locate him/her. Kiriel has a mak'ro to help tracking your buddy.

Iron-man tactic

In very tough areas a tactic often used to cross snells is called the iron-man tactic (personnally I think of it as the iron-woman tactic because in our group it is usually Thuja that is the iron woman). Iron-man is essentially the same as scouting/luring but in the context of a raid. By the way I was taught this tactic by Elenis and I don't know if it is widely used, but I can vouch it works very well.
Remember that in the context of a raid the idea is to successfully cross the snell. The reason this tactic is used is because in very tough places it is quite easy to be overhelmed just as the group crosses the snell. After everyone is in position along the snell edge (see diagram below) the iron-man, which is someone, like Thuja, that can withstand a lot of damage, goes to scout the next snell. The iron-man determines if it is safe to enter. If it is too dangerous then the iron-man lures creatures one by one to the waiting semi-circle of fighters who dispatch it as quickly as possible. When the iron-man considers the next snell safe enough for the group to enter everyone then enters the next snell.

More to come (Multiple snells moves, Walling up, etc.)...


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