Myth number one: There are meaningless battles, or meaningless wins.
Can a battle be meaningless? Of course it cannot! One could argue that battle has value in itself, and therefore also meaning. But that argument aside, there surely must be meaning in victory at least?
In my mind a battle won, shows that the brave Viking warriors did something right as a group. Probably more so than the enemy and thus they emerged victorious from the battlefield. Certain established Viking warriors might have shown their exceptional prowess, younger fresher warriors might have taken or even exceeded their allotted role in the battle, or the clan leaders might have used superior battle tactics (wouldn’t that be the day?). Anyway, all of those feats would be admirable, and also good feats to have in upcoming battles, be they in this year, or in the following of years.
Then of course lady luck could intervene, or wrongly enforced battle rules could skew the outcome of a battle and make victor of the unworthy, but such is the life of a Viking. Better to get used to it.
But I do also believe that a won battle can result in a lost war. Maybe sometimes a tactical retreat should be organized by our leaders, to improve our picking of warriors during the next Great Warrior Selection? But that would only be applicable in those rare instances, when a Captain is available; who seems to be Thor incarnated. Otherwise it doesn't matter, as good warriors can always be selected, if one only chooses carefully and with enough sense.
Then again, rare and capable individuals are needed at the most important of positions, at the helm. A Viking long ship needs a good captain. It doesn't really matter how mighty warriors a ship is loaded with, if the ship itself gets lost at sea due to captain incompetency. Good captains are elevated due to their importance, elevated almost to godlike levels. Some strange-talking men of the far west like to call those godlike individuals as Elite Quarterbacks, whatever that means. In Vikingaland we call those individuals "Mysterious and elusive beings".
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. The window for a tactical retreat seems to have disappeared. But who cares, with such glorious victory as against the Great Eagle nation?
But only the Gods know what a battle ending in a tie means. It must be some trickery by Loki, for sure. Does a tie mean that both parties in fact suffered a loss, as neither won? Do Viking clans who suffer ties in battle even have the opportunity to go to Valhalla, or are their odds of that significantly lessened?
Myth number two: the Vikings of Purple and Gold must choose a new captain to navigate the Viking long ship first and foremost. Sell all our maidens and all of our mead if required, the need is so pressing!
Yes, it is true that we need a Captain for the Future. A Pandering Christian it is not and neither is it Matteus Castle. The first mentioned have the prerequisite youth, but not the ability. The latter lacks youth and ability, but he still understands the basic fundamentals of the task: strike quickly, be decisive, and preferably strike down the coast and go for open targets between enemy positions. With that basic knowledge, I believe that Castle can effectively lead our proud Viking Clan for a year or two, if so needed. If no other Captain can step up and challenge him, that is. Let us remember that Matteus is in no need of a walking staff any time soon. He’s not that old. Besides, he has never relied on overwhelming strength to vanquish his foes, so a drop in physical prowess, which is inevitable, might not hurt him that much.
At the same time I sure would like to get a Cameron Newtown, Andrew of Luck or Knight of Bridgewater kind of Captain in the Warrior Selections. That would mean relegating Matteus Castle to reserve and mentoring duties. And those kind of duties should not be given to the Pandering Christian, as Castle would bring much more to the table especially regarding the mentoring part. But what if a sufficiently talented captain is not available, somebody like (and in my eyes only) Sir Bridegwater?, In such case I would hate or absolutely loath the Purple clan to overly reach once again. Reach as they did in the year of 2011 AD, also known as the year of All Day, the year of the Purple Jesus. In the year in question, Newtown was rightly chosen first overall. After him, three far lesser captains was chosen in the top 12, including a certain Pandering Christian to the Vikings of the Purple and Gold. The only reason why these lesser Captains were chosen so early, was that various Clan needs for captains superseded common sense. That kind of thinking is a mistake and should never be repeated. The clans that chose not to desperately pick subpar captains, to a premium price, got superior warriors instead.
Going back to our current captain options - there isn’t any. Sorry Josh the Freedman, I don’t see you as an alternative, although I acknowledge the might you possess in your arm, but you don’t seem to be able to control that might. If we would fight Frost Giants in the future, then I might have a change of heart. As giants, not mere men, are the only beings Josh could hit with his overpowering strikes.
And sorry also Favre of Irongirdth, the silverhaired being of legend, but you should stay at your homestead. farm the land and shout obscenities to buxom ladies half your age, but stay clear of battle. You could perhaps be a more competent captain than Matteus or Christian, even at your high age, but none could stand the extra drama involved if you would come out of retirement.
I would also warn against bringing over leftover captains from other clans. They tend to be old, and to be leftovers for a reason. So no thank you, as I see none that could bring significantly more value than we already have in Matteus Castle.
Others might believe that the freaky "Man Seal" or Mighty Carr could become good captains, and should be selected as soon as possible. They could be good, but they also come with considerable risk. No one knows how they will operate during real battle conditions. In the case of the questionable "Man Seal", it is one thing to use his quickness, skill and daredevil tactics in practice and with other youngsters, but what happens when he is confronted by hulking bloodthirsty warriors over and over again? Can he use his skills in a organized way, or is he doomed to operate recklessly and without the support and protection of his fellow warriors? Or regarding Mighty Carr, we know that he can strike quickly, accurately and with great might but how does he function in the chaos of real battle? Nobody knows.
Altogether, regarding Sir Bridgewater, the "Man Seal" or the Mighty Carr, there seem to be more opinions than there are villages waiting to be plundered. Who knows who will become the true warrior captain in the years to follow? I only know what my eyes are telling me: that Sir Bridgewater moves, acts and operates as a seasoned veteran-captain, something rarely seen in such youngsters (and something never to have been seen in our former captain, the Pandering Christian).
So in conclusion, yes please I would like to see a new and capable captain. Just make sure that we don’t sell our homesteads to get him! There is nothing wrong in first choosing great viking warriors and a potentially good captain later. The rudder can be given to Castle and let him tutelage the newcomer, bring in a competent battle coordinator to help and let a veteran like Greg son of Jennings give god advice on how a captain should wok together with his crew. As long as we don't select a lesser man instead of a mighty warrior, for the only sake that the first mentioned can navigate some - then I'm happy.
(Sorry for the delay, but CCNorseman wrote about the coaching situation already, and the wifey told me that she's pregnant, everybody is sick at work, Christmas approaching and we have a new ADHD dog puppy, so it has been a bit hectic to say the least)
Myth number three: our leaders knows best.
By leaders I mean our chieftain and battle commander Stoneface Les and our battle coordinators, the ones called Muskrat the Mad and Allan the Preventer.
But before I venture forth, I’d like to state that our leaders do know the most. They have hand on experience that most of us can only dream of. They also do not only see the whole picture regarding our dear purple viking clan, they manage it, as I only get to see glimpses of it. I’m absolutely not saying that I know better, but I’m fairly certain that other leaders could do a better job. One only needs to look at the numerous mistakes committed by our current regime. Here is some:
We have seen our one time Captain Freedman collapse during the battle of York, while the Pandering Christian and Matteus Castle were kept in the reserve. The battle turned ugly and either the Christian or Castle should have been dispatched to Freedman’s rescue. They were not. The end result? The Vikings suffered a massacre instead of a mere loss.
The issue about our Warriors: I have no problem with using our esteemed battle veterans as long as they get the job done. If a veteran fails, he gets too slow or too hurt, then a younger warrior should get the opportunity instead. That opportunity they don’t get. Old Stoneface keep using his old veterans, even if they would be injured to the point of being ineffective during battle. Greenroad’s maimed hand comes to mind. When a veteran get hurt and Stoneface must give a greenhorn a chance to prove himself, then the situation turn into absurdity. The young warriors Cord of Daren and Avery of Roads have been battle changers when given the opportunity. Cord is already one of our most feared warriors, while Avery is our best defender.
The most absurd incident? That is the Pick "twelvefinger" Coleman incident. He was not given an opportunity to fight in our battle line. Other ones did and our battle line did not perform. The ranks would not hold. Still, Coleman was asked to leave our Clan. Then Erin Hender’s son fell drunk as a skunk from his horse on his way to battle. So Coleman was asked to join our ranks again, and he was plugged into the battle line right away. And what was the end result? The battle line performed better. It really doesn’t seem like Stoneface knows who his best warriors are, or how to use them.
Muskrat the Mad then? Well, he surely is mad, and not in a good way. They say that he really is a brilliant tactician and a master planer, but I don’t see that during battles at all. He stays put when we should strike. We try a fancy maneuver when we should let Adrian son of Peter smash the enemy head on. He doesn't seem to recognize situations during battle. He doesn't advance our troops when needed. We seem to always be just short from that position of strategic importance.
And what about Alan the Preventer who is responsible for our defense? Well, our enemies raid our homesteads with impunity, so Alan really doesn’t seem to be up to the task. Often it seems that when we spot the enemy and should aggressively go after them, take the initiative - then we actually do the opposite. We look for them to make the first move, and while we hesitate they manage to slip between our defenses. Not good.
So in conclusion, while I acknowledge the respect Stoneface has among our warriors, this farce has got to stop! No more warrior favoritism! No more crazy tactics! No more indecisiveness! Let our proud warriors attack and defend with proper viking rage! Let us go for the kills, let out the bersekers and let us strike fear into our enemies once more! And for that, we do need new leaders!